Walter Lee Gibbons
Teams: Philadelphia Stars (1941), New York Black Yankees (1941), Indianapolis Clowns (1948-1949)
Born: October 13, 1928, Tampa, Florida
A seldom-used pitcher, he lost his only decision in 1941 while splitting the season between the Philadelphia Stars and the New York Black Yankees in the Negro National League. After World War II he signed with the Indianapolis Clowns in the Negro American League and pitched for two seasons, 1948-1949.
Baseball Career Highlights:
"My career started when I was 8 years old, playing sandlot ball with the Pepsi-Cola Juniors. From there, I began playing with the Pepsi-Cola Giants and the Tampa Rockets of the Florida State Negro League. My opportunity to play in the Negro American League occurred when the Indianapolis Clowns were in Tampa. It was commonplace for teams to look for talented players when they were on the road. They saw me play and asked me to join the team. I was barred from sports in junior and senior high school because as a teenager, I was getting paid to play."
"After playing with the Clowns, I went to Canada and played in the Manitoba and Dakota League. In 1950, after pitching against the Jackie Robinson All-Stars, I was sent a ticket to meet Robinson's team in Puerto Rico. At the same time, Uncle Sam sent me a draft ticket. Instead of going to Puerto Rico, I went to Korea for three years. After my tour of duty, I returned to baseball in Minot, North Dakota. I played there until 1956. When I went back to Florida, I managed a night club for 20 years. Now, I am a semi-retired supervisor at the University of Tampa's Training Center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Also, I spend time watching the Devil Rays in St. Petersburg."
NLBM Legacy 2000 Players' Reunion Alumni Book, Kansas City Missouri: Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Inc., 2000.
James A. Riley, The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues, New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1994.