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FedEx Ground announced as title sponsor for Josh Gibson Heritage Park

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The Josh Gibson Foundation Wednesday announced that FedEx Ground has agreed to become the name and title donor of Josh Gibson Heritage Park at Station Square through its generous donation of $500,000 towards its construction.

The announcement was made by Sean Gibson, Executive Director of the Josh Gibson Foundation and great grandson of Josh Gibson, and Angela Wheland, Vice President of FedEx Ground.

Josh Gibson Heritage Park will be a hands-on, interactive exhibit that pays tribute to the history and context of Negro League baseball in Pittsburgh.

The Josh Gibson family, the Josh Gibson Foundation and several dedicated volunteers have worked to bring this concept to reality. Now, with the title sponsorship from FedEx Ground, and a venue donated by Forest City Development, Josh Gibson Heritage Park will be located at Station Square in Pittsburgh’s South Side neighborhood. The Park will face PNC Park across the river. 

“FedEx Ground has stepped up in a big way," said Sean Gibson. "This is truly a dream come true for our family, The Josh Gibson Foundation, the storied Homestead Greys and Pittsburgh Crawfords, and the preservation of the history of Negro League Baseball.”

Josh Gibson Heritage Park will provide educational and cultural context to the Negro League’s significant presence in the Pittsburgh region. The Pittsburgh region in particular featured two of the most successful teams in the League’s history, the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords. 

The Grays won the Negro League World Series three times in 1943, 1944 and 1948, capturing the pennant 10 times during a 12-season stretch. Thesuccess of the Grays and Crawfords made Pittsburgh the center of Negro League activity for decades, and home to its greatest stars, including Josh Gibson.

The Park will feature historical information about the Grays and Crawfords. Individual monuments, designed by noted sports artist, Dino Guarino, will feature tributes to League icons including Josh Gibson, Oscar Charleston, Satchel Paige, Buck Leonard, Cool Papa Bell, Cumberland Posey, Judy Johnson and Vic Harris.

The Josh Gibson Foundation and its mission to educate children in this region will be on display with unique educational opportunities at the Park enabling visitors, specially children, to explore the many elements of the game of baseball including statistics, decision-making, teamwork and more. The Foundation expects that the Park will work closely with school districts in southwestern Pennsylvania to schedule tours for students. In addition, the Park will join with Visit Pittsburgh, the Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh Tours and other civic organizations to make Josh Gibson Heritage Park a must-see venue for people of all ages.

Groundbreaking for Josh Gibson Heritage Park is scheduled for the summer of 2016, with availability to the public targeted for Opening Day of the 2017 Major League Baseball season. Artist renderings, created by Astorino-Cannon Design, reflect an inviting and respectful presentation of the Negro League’s history in Pittsburgh.

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