Often referred to as the "black Babe Ruth" during his career, Gibson was as much a force in Negro League baseball as the Bambino was in the major leagues. For 17 seasons Gibson treated Negro League fans to an ongoing power-hitting exhibition, compiling more than 900 career homeruns.
With the exception of 6 seasons behind the plate with the legendary Pittsburgh Crawfords teams of the mid-1930s, Gibson spent his entire career (1929-1946) with the Homestead Grays. During the late 1930s and early 1940s Gibson's bat powered the Grays to an unprecedented 9 consecutive Negro National League championships.
No player was more revered by Negro League fans than Gibson. He appeared in nine East-West All-Star games, and his 84 homeruns (hit against varied levels of competition) in 1936 is a feat often discussed in baseball circles today.
In January, 1946 Gibson suddenly died at the age of 35. The cause of his death remains uncertain, but was generally attributed to a stroke or possible brain tumor at the time.
In 1972 Gibson followed Satchel Paige as the Negro Leagues' second alumnus to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall Of Fame.