Johnson, Judy

Johnson, Judy (William Julius Johnson), 1899–1989, American baseball player, b. Snow Hill, Md. His father, a boxing coach, wanted him to be a prizefighter, but he started playing semipro baseball in 1919 and was the third baseman for the Negro National League's Hilldale Daisies of Darby, Pa., by 1920. In 1925 the Daisies beat the Kansas City Monarchs to win the Colored World Series. He then played for the Homestead Grays (1929–30), becoming its player-manager and discovering and mentoring Josh Gibson. Johnson returned to the Hilldale Club (1931–32), then was recruited by the Pittsburgh Crawfords, which he soon captained. Retiring after the 1936 season, he worked as a cab driver and a grocer until becoming a scout and coach for several major league teams. His ability to discover and develop talent led him to become the first African-American spring training coach in the major leagues, for the Philadelphia Phillies (1954–74). Johnson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1975.

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