Friday, December 10, 2021

Walter Johnson 75 Years -- December 10, 2021

Wilmington Morning Star, 12-December-1946

Walter Johnson, one of the greatest pitchers of all time and an original member of the Hall of Fame, died 75 years ago today, on 10-December-1946. There are many legends about the speed of his fastball. 

Millions Of Sports Fans Pay Tribute To Walter Johnson;
Fight For Life Typical Of "Big Train’s" Pitching Career

Washington, Dec. 11. -- (AP) -- President Truman joined millions of other sports fans Wednesday in paying tribute to Walter Johnson, possibly the greatest baseball pitcher who ever lived.

Johnson, desperately ill with a brain tumor since April, died late Tuesday night in a local hospital. He was 59.

Funeral services will be held (at 2:30 p.m.) Friday in the Washington Cathedral. Pallbearers will be chosen from the players who helped Johnson rewrite the record books.

Mr. Truman said he was "Greatly grieved" to hear of Johnson’s death. He added that the former star pitcher of the Washington Senators had been one of his heroes.

"Mr. Truman admired Johnson both as an athlete and a man," Presidential Secretary Charles G. Ross told reporters. "Like millions of other fans, He was sorrowed by Mr. Johnson’s death."

Around Washington Wednesday, wherever fans gathered, the talk was of Johnson.

People who never had seen him pitch explained exactly how he did it.

People who never had heard him talk were busy quoting him.

This town has seen the greats of all nations come and go, but Walter Johnson, who knew how to throw a baseball, was something special.

Just what was it that the "Big train" had that so endeared him to the customers?

Well, he was a superb pitcher, of course.

He pitched in 803 major league games and in two world series. He was victorious in 414 games, and in 113 contests his opponents couldn’t score a run.

He struck out 3,497 batsmen, and once pitched 56 consecutive shutout innings.

But the Johnson legend is made up of far more than that.

In many of those games he was pitching with a second division club, for a team whose hitting was puny and whose fielding was embarrassing.

But through all this Johnson managed to give his uncomplaining, courageous best, always ready to give the other fellow credit, always willing to take more than his share of the blame.

And that’s the reason, said the old-timers here, that the fans realized they were seeing more than a great pitcher. They were seeing a great gentleman as well.

Pallbearers will include such former teammates as Roger Peckinpaugh, Sam Rice, Ossie Bluege, Joe Judge, Nick Altrock, "Muddy" Ruell and Jim Shaw. Another pallbearer will be Mike Martin, for 40 years trainer for the Senators.

The Very Rev. John W. Suter, Dean of Washington Cathedral, will officiate, and burial will be in Rockville (N.D.) Union Cemetery. That’s where Mrs. Johnson, who died in 1930, was buried.

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 11 -- (AP) -- President Will Harridge of the American League, visiting in San Francisco, said Wednesday, "Walter Johnson will be remembered not only as one of the great pitchers of all time but also as one of the finest gentlemen in the history of baseball. We of the American League and all baseball fans are saddened by his passing.

No comments: