On August 7, 1972, longtime teammates Josh Gibson and Walter , “Buck” Leonard became the first two men who played exclusively in the Negro Leagues to be forever enshrined in Hall of Fame Bronze. They Called them...
Known for booming home runs and an arm like a cannon, Josh Gibson was the Negro Leagues’ most- feared power hitter and best catcher. Over 14 seasons, Josh led the Negro National League in home runs 11 times and racked- up nearly 800 career bombs.
With a lightning-quick bat and a golden glove, Buck Leonard was known as one of the best pure hitters and the greatest first baseman in Negro Leagues history. In 17 seasons with the Grays, Buck was selected for a record 13 Negro Leagues All Star Games.
Bronze Thunder Twins IPA is a result of an all-star collaboration between the Gibson and Leonard families, the Harlem and Métier Brewing Companies and Yakima Chief Hops. As part of a global awarness and fundraising compaign, the special beer will be made available through offical brewing partners around the world through November 2023.
From 1937-45, legendary slugger Josh Gibson and team captain Buck Leonard led the famed Homestead Grays to 9 consecutive Negro National League pennants, 4 straight Negro Leagues World Series appearances, and back- to-back titles in 1943 & ‘44.
Today, the legacy of the Thunder Twins is carried on by their families and the hundreds of inner-city kids served by the Josh Gibson Foundation and Buck Leonard Association each year.
At least $1 from every pint of Bronze Thunder Twins IPA sold will directly support programs such as early childhood reading, STEAM Education, Financial Literacy and RBI Youth Baseball.
Josh Gibson Foundation:
The Josh Gibson Foundation of Pittsburgh believes in the endless possibilities for potential in today's youth. By providing academic and athletic programs that foster leadership and scholarship, the skills necessary for tomorrow's successes are created today.
We carry on Hall of Famer Josh Gibson’s legacy of greatness and accomplishment by developing programs that help children of every level of ability reach their potential, and by creating opportunities and value for our community.
Josh Gibson Academy: Vision and Purpose:
The proceeds of this initiative will help the Josh Gibson Academy deliver services in Pittsburgh’s McKees Rock community to enhance the physical, intellectual, and the overall well-being for individuals and families. Serving children and adults alike, the Academy will provide a presence for social services, recreational and educational organizations, and a Miracle League Field for McKees Rocks. Comprehensive programming will include childcare, after school programs, senior adult activities, fitness and wellness, special needs services, arts and cultural activities that span all ages and interests.
The Academy will incorporate interior sports courts, gymnasium, multi-purpose/flex space, classrooms, conference space, a cafeteria and support spaces such as restrooms and shower facilities. And, as one of the nation’s first urban Miracle League Fields with the motto, “Every child deserves a chance to play baseball,” it will celebrate the life and legacy of Josh Gibson himself, Negro League icon and trailblazer.
Buck Leonard Association:
Established by family in 1999 to help organize and manage a youth baseball league, the Buck Leonard Association for Sports and Human Enrichment (BLASHE) has evolved into an organization that engages and empowers children and families of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Under the banner of “Play, Explore and Preserve” the organization through its MLB/RBI(Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities) affiliation offers a diverse program of baseball activities for children of low wealth families. Education (STEAM) and community preservation projects provide a host of additional enrichment services opportunities within the community.
Thunder Twins Beer Campaign will enable and support the following projects:
The Buck Leonard History & Learning Center Renovation Project at the Mitchell House – With the renovation of this property gifted to the organization in 2010, the center will house a Negro Leagues Baseball Literary and Research Department with a large collection of children’s books depicting and chronicling the history of the sport, an exhibition room for change-out displays, a baseball coaching lab, and a STEAM Enrichment Lab. With the purchase and development of an adjacent property, the center will have the capability to provide an accessible indoor baseball training facility for inner city children, youth, and coaches.
The History and Learning Center will also serve as the extended site for the Buck Leonard First Baseman’s Hall of Fame. The inaugural Class consisting of Ben Taylor, Buck O’Neil, Martin Dihigo, Hank Greenberg, Tony Perez, Joe Stanton, and Lou Gehrig were inducted on October 29, 2022. Their induction portraitures hang in the Buck Leonard Exhibit area at the Rocky Mount Arts & Science Centre.
Expansion of the Buck Leonard (RBI) Baseball League - Operating the league since 2003, our goal is to expand the league’s enrollment by 50 percent by 2025 – offering enrollment to 200 boys and girls ages 6- 16 years old, and to have some of these teams participate in both inner-league play as well as RBI/USA Baseball sponsored camps and tournament play.
The organization’s over-arching goal is to use the rich, multi-faceted, and remarkable legacy of Buck Leonard, Josh Gibson, and the Negro Leagues to tell their stories, to promote youth education excellence, to create a baseball community that honors those who were determined to play the “game.”
Harlem Brewing Company | Harlem Brew South
Founded in 2000 by entrepreneur and brewing pioneer Celeste Beatty, Harlem Brewing Company (HBC) creates living beers that are inspired by great people and great communities. Our Award-Winning beers are sold internationally and have been featured on MSNBC, Forbes Magazine, FOX News, New Brewer, Draft, People, and Ebony. In 2018, HBC launched Harlem Brew South, located in Buck Leonard’s hometown of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Harlem Brew South is collaborating with Metier Brewing Company in Seattle on the Bronze Thunder Twins IPA recipe, two breweries linked to Negro League history.