Google+ Badge BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY : AFRICAN AMERICAN WILLIAM JULIUS "JUDY" JOHNSON PROFESSIONAL THIRD BASEMAN IN NEGRO LEAGUE BASE BALL: GOES INTO THE " HALL OF BLACK GENIUS "
BLACK SOCIAL HISTORY William Julius "Judy" Johnson October 26, 1899 – June 15, 1989 was an American third baseman in Negro league baseball. He played for the Hilldale Club, Homestead Grays, and Pittsburgh Crawfords from 1921 to 1936. Considered one of the greatest third basemen in the Negro leagues, he was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.
In 1919, Johnson played for a Philadelphia semi-pro team, the Madison Stars. He was acquired by a Negro major league club, the Hilldale Daisies, for $100, and played for Hilldale from 1921 to 1929. During that time, he was nicknamed "Judy" because he resembled Judy Gans, a player for the Chicago American Giants. Future Baseball Hall of Famer John Henry Lloyd became Johnson's mentor and taught him how to play third base.
In 1924, Johnson had a batting average of .327. Hilldale faced the Kansas City Monarchs that year in the first Negro World Series, and Johnson led all batters with a .364 average in a losing effort. The following year, Johnson batted .392, and Hilldale defeated Kansas City inthat season's Negro World Series. In 1929, Johnson batted .416.
When the Hilldale club folded, Johnson became the player-manager of the Homestead Grays. There, he discovered and became a mentor to future Hall of Famer Josh Gibson. Johnson then ended his career playing for the Pittsburgh Crawfords from 1932 to 1936. He was the team's captain and helped them win the pennant in 1935. Johnson had a career batting average of .298 in the Negro major leagues.
After his playing career ended, Johnson was a coach and scout for several Major League Baseball teams; he signed Dick Allen. Johnson became the first black coach in the majors when he coached the Philadelphia Phillies in 1954.
Johnson was a good fielder, and he was considered one of the greatest third basemen of the Negro leagues. In 1975, he became the sixth black player inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame. A statue of Johnson stands outside Frawley Stadium in Delaware.
Johnson was married to Anita Irons. The couple had one daughter, Loretta, who married major league player Bill Bruton. Johnson died on June 15, 1989, in Wilmington, Delaware.