Lot 327: Josh Gibson Budweiser Photo
Auction Date:6/26/2005 9:00 PM EST
Remarkable photo of Gibson in his Santurce uniform for a Budweiser beer promotion -- a sight that never would have been seen back home in the States. The late-'30s shot of the King of the Negro Leagues standing behind a case of the "King of Bottled Beer" being held by 2 guys in suits made for a perfect ad strategy, but only abroad since black athletes were kept far away from the commercial spotlight in their own country. Gibson's hero status on the island, however, gave Budweiser no qualms about using him there, and he was clearly happy to go along with it, perhaps figuring he'd be getting a few cases of Bud as compensation. Photo was apparently used as is for an ad, as the "Santurce" on his shirt and the Bud case has been darkened so as to show up clearly in a newpspaper. The 4 1/2 x 6" photo is VG with crease and fold damage, notably at the corners, and a slight bit a image loss along the right edge. Some tape reinforcement on the back, on which "Joshua Gibson" is written in red pen above that of a man named Sixto Escobar. There's also faded pencil writing at the bottom. Given Josh's smile and electric personality, how idiotic was it that he wasn't used in this manner in his own country?
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