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Judy Johnson Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: October 26, 1899 in Snow Hill, Maryland
Died: June 15, 1989 in Wilmington, Delaware
Biography | show moreshow less

Born: December 26, 1899 in Snow Hill, Maryland
High School: Howard HS (Wilmington, Delaware )
Inducted into the Hall of Fame by Negro League Committee as Player in 1975.
Died: June 15, 1989 in Wilmington, Delaware (Aged 89)

This article was written by Ralph Berger and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

Quiet, mannerly, and somewhat introverted, Judy Johnson for all his reticence was a leader. He commanded respect by his actions on and off the field. Slight of build but with the inner constitution of a bulldog, he went about his job efficiently and steadily. A black man who knew his choices were limited by a society then closed to him, he was determined to use his athletic skills to make a life for himself and his family. His strong family ties gave him solid psychological grounding.

Baseball wasn't easy for players in the Negro Leagues. It was hard driving day and night, dealing with rejection, mindless bigotry and the barrier against playing in the Major leagues. Despite the travails, for many of the players it was a time of happiness, adventure, and camaraderie. The Negro Leagues also offered comparative wealth and some star status in contrast to the menial jobs most of the African-American population had to endure during the first half of the twentieth century.

Judy Johnson was of the Charlie Gehringer mold: "You just wind him up at the start of the season and he goes out without anything to say and does the job." Johnson grabbed anything within reach and slapped line drives all over the field. Quiet, dependable, no gloss, just a smart third baseman, he made difficult plays look routine.

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