Jimmy Johnston (TRADING CARD DB)

Jimmy Johnston

This article was written by Mark S. Sternman

Jimmy Johnston (TRADING CARD DB)Jimmy Johnston piled up record-setting stolen-base numbers in the minors, played every outfield and infield position, and contributed to the first two Brooklyn World Series teams. In 1920 he battled brother Doc Johnston of Cleveland as part of the first World Series sibling rivalry.1

Rooted in Tennessee, Johnston’s ancestors farmed, prayed, and played baseball. His grandfather Rev. George Julian served as a Methodist minister. Rev. Julian’s daughter, Fannie, was likewise “active in church and civic work.”2 On April 29, 1880, she married James H. Johnston, a farmer like his father, Columbus. Jimmy’s dad “missed being a major league star simply because scouts were not as numerous in the olden days.”3 In Cleveland, Tennessee, Fannie and James raised Clifton,4 Wheeler “Doc,” Jimmy (born December 10, 1889), Anna, and Julia.

Information on Johnston’s early years has not surfaced. Johnston debuted with Kewanee of the Central Association in 1908. In 1909 as a 19-year-old, he displayed batting prowess and versatility. Per the Nashville Banner, he “hit about .288 (his average was actually .267) and made but five errors in the outfield, although his regular position is in the infield.”5

In 1910 Johnston moved up to Seattle of the Northwestern League. He struggled offensively and defensively with his new club and was singled out in one game recap for having “played a rotten left field. He could neither judge flies nor stop grounders and missed one fly right in his hands.”6 Johnston hit just .195 (16 singles in 82 at-bats) before returning to the Central Association with the Ottumwa Packers.

Johnston turned around his 1910 campaign there and attracted American League attention after hitting .301.7 Johnston received a contract “accompanied by a very complimentary letter from [White Sox owner Charles Comiskey], who assured the youngster that he would be given every chance to make good.”8 Johnston also got married that year in Chattanooga, Tennessee, about a month before turning 21.9 Nora Belle, also 20 at the time of their wedding, and Jimmy had five kids: James, Ruth, Harris, Caroline, and Dorothy.

Comiskey’s assurance notwithstanding, Johnston played just part of one game for Chicago. Batting third in an 8–7 loss to Cleveland on May 3, 1911, he went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a putout in center field. Less than two weeks later, Comiskey sent Johnston to the Birmingham Barons of the Southern Association. Johnston played steadily for Birmingham until an encounter with Rube Benton. “Attempting to dodge a sharp breaking drop, Johnston ducked over the plate and the sphere caught him with terrific force back of the ear. Blood flowed … and he was assisted from the field.”10

The description conjures up Carl Mays’ beaning of Ray Chapman, an incident almost exactly nine years later that Doc Johnston, Chapman’s Cleveland teammate, witnessed. Doc also suffered a serious beaning in 1910.11

The Benton beaning, which resulted in a temporary loss of hearing and speech for Jimmy,12 could have killed him or ended his career. He “lingered between life and death for many days.”13

Johnston played a second season with Birmingham in 1912 and led the Southern League with 81 steals (a record that would last 40 years).14 Otherwise, he put up similar offensive numbers with those from 1911, but Johnston at least overcame Comiskey’s fear that the injury would dampen his aggressiveness.15

Johnston improved on the field in 1913. As a member of the San Francisco Seals, he “earned his sobriquet of ‘Burglar Jimmie’ [because] he stole 124 bases (in 201 games) against the strongest array of backstops the Pacific Coast League ever boasted of.”16 Johnston’s stolen-base tally remains a PCL record with the demise of the league.

In 1914 Johnston returned to the majors and Chicago, this time with the Cubs, but failed to accumulate anywhere close to his PCL stats. (He swiped only three bases in 50 games.) So he went back to the Bay Area in 1915 and played for Oakland, where, in 206 games, he hit .348 with 11 homers and 82 steals.17 Seemingly too good for the minors but not good enough for the majors, Johnston exploited his third option by signing “an ironclad contract” with Newark of the Federal League.18 But the FL folded, and Brooklyn bought Johnston. The player unproven at the major-league level held out for his FL salary of $4,000. The sides eventually compromised on a two-year contract at $3,600,19 which brought Johnston into the fold for 1916, when he solidified his status as a major leaguer.

One reporter compared Johnston with Ty Cobb because each had averaged about 1 1/3 hits per game during their 1915 seasons.20 However, Johnston initially struggled with Brooklyn as he had with the Cubs. After a June 6 game against Cincinnati, Johnston had the ugly slash line of .216/.293/.324. Brooklyn might have benched or jettisoned him, but outfielder Hy Myers twisted his ankle21 and left the lineup for almost three weeks. Batting leadoff for the first time all season, Johnston raised his batting average from .228 to .269 in the first six games that Myers missed. Johnston got meaningful hits, too: “In three games won by Brooklyn by one run … he has made one of the runs possible by clouting a double or a triple.… Not even a pork-barrel Congressman would have the nerve to ask more.”22

Johnston particularly impressed at the beginning of games by “becoming a hum dinger as a leader-off. He has opened the first inning of eight of the last eleven games with a hit. Twice the salutary swat was a double and once it was a triple.”23 He also starred at multiple outfield positions. In center, “Johnston astounded the neighbors by a mighty heave to Chief Meyers that exterminated [Alex] McCarthy by three feet to spare.”24 In right with Benny Kauff at the plate and the pennant on the line in the last series of the season, “Kauff had walloped one of the most savage hits of his walloping career straight for the right field wall. If it had escaped, it would have gone for at least three bases, but Johnston made a despairing grab and caught the ball with one hand, with two Giants on base and New York two runs behind.”25

Even after Myers returned, Johnston regularly alternated among all three outfield positions. He played at least 20 games in July, August, and September after not having played as many games in a month during the first half of the season.

Like many athletes “Johnston … needs constant work. The more he works the better he becomes. At present he is the best lead-off man in the entire league…. In throwing and running Johnson [sic] is right there, and he is thinking all the time.”26

Once again, unfortunately, an untimely beanball knocked Johnston from the lineup. He “was [hit] by an inshoot from Miner Brown … His nose was flattened, and he went down for the count.”27 Johnston missed 10 days, and his bat slowed over the final month of the season. Johnston exited the August 22 game with a slash line of .271/.328/.368; he finished the season at .252/.313/.327.

His face might have hurt after what appears to have been a painful surgical procedure.28 Yet his legs still worked well. On September 22 in the eighth inning, he stole second and third with Jim Hickman at the plate. After Hickman walked, the two pulled a double steal. “All of Johnston’s three steals were perfect, and his performance will live long in the land.”29 Johnston’s aggressiveness on the bases paid off in this game, but he led the team in a dubious category in 1916, getting picked off by pitchers five times.30

In the 1916 World Series against Boston, Johnston played in Games One, Two, and Four and went 3-for-10 with a triple, but the Red Sox won the championship in five games. Brooklyn lost all three games in which Johnston appeared.

Johnston had gone from a fringe player for mediocre clubs to a semi-regular for a pennant winner. A postseason analysis noted that “Johnston shone particularly against left-handed pitchers … [Manager Wilbert] Robinson considers Johnston a future star, and predicts he will bat much better in 1917.”31 Johnston’s slash line in 1917 was .297/.366/.372 against southpaws and only .227/.283/.301 versus righties. Overall, however, he failed to improve meaningfully at the plate in his second season in Brooklyn.

New defensive demands placed on Johnston might have accounted for his plateauing offensively. After playing exclusively in the outfield in 1916, Johnston displayed versatility in the field by playing 14 games at first during 1917. Initial observations proved unkind: “Johnston was perfectly green at infielding and did not develop any knack for the art.”32 Nonetheless, he seemed to catch on in a few months. By one account, “he showed commendable agility and made several neat pickups of low throws.”33 A few days later, though, a ligament injury kept him out of the starting lineup for about a dozen games.34

After being on baseball’s center stage in 1916, Brooklyn retreated to obscurity with three straight losing seasons, the middle one truncated by World War I. Johnston was drafted and subject to a work-or-fight order in July 1918. At the time, he was the owner of a 250-acre farm with a wife, children, “and sundry cows and pigs,”35 so he faced the potential of losing playing time and having to return home to Tennessee.36 However, he “received permission from [his] draft [board] to finish the season.”37

Johnston played in 123 of Brooklyn’s 126 games in 1918, splitting his time among six positions (1B, 2B, 3B, LF, CF, and RF).

Johnston often substituted for Jake Daubert at first base, but Brooklyn traded Daubert to Cincinnati on February 1, 1919. Johnston seemed ready to assume regular first-base duty for the first time, but Brooklyn bought Ed Konetchy on April 14, seemingly leaving Johnston adrift defensively once again. Showing a team-first attitude, Johnston proclaimed, “I would have no kick if Robbie kept me on first from now until October. What he and all of us want is to win ball games … Any little preference I have for the outfield cuts no ice … nor do I have any objection to sitting on the bench.”38

By games played, Johnston spent the most time across the outfield for Brooklyn in his first three years with the team (CF in 1916, LF in 1917, and RF in 1918). He played all four infield positions but spent by far the most time at first base. So, what should happen in 1919? He ended up playing primarily at … second base, beginning in late June. After hitting .307 in 1918, second baseman Ray Schmandt hit just .165 in 1919, which caused Johnston to take on yet another role.

Johnston played “a corking good game at second. He is not satisfied to go after plays that are reasonably easy, as an outfielder subbing on the inner circle might be expected to, but he goes after everything near his territory, and frequently gets almost impossible chances.”39 Johnston received praise for his double-play pivots.40 He also received a rather backhanded compliment: “the best infielding outfielder in either of the major leagues…. Johnston is a funky pastimer to be able to play with such confidence and ability … The fans never take into consideration that he is an outfielder playing out of his position … to furnish a result-producing team.”41

While appreciating Johnston’s work, Robinson, employing interesting logic, mused about moving him again in 1920: “Jimmy has developed into such a good outfielder that he can be played anywhere. I think he has the arm for a shortstop … [Ivy] Olson played a fine shortstop this year and Johnston was the season’s surprise at second base, but I might switch them, sending Olson to second and Johnston to short to see how it would work.”42

That plan did not survive the offseason. Robinson moved Johnston in 1920, but to third base. While “not as graceful as a gazelle, he delivered the goods far better than might have been anticipated from … an outfielder by trade in both the minors and majors.” [43 Johnston “has about the best arm of any third baseman in captivity, bar none.”44

That year Brooklyn and the Boston Braves played to a historic 1–1 26-inning tie on May 1, and Johnston had a role in the outcome. Boston got the tying run in the sixth. After a one-out Walton Cruise triple, Walter Holke “raised a short fly to left, [Zack] Wheat coming in to make a running catch. Cruise … was halfway to the plate and could have been doubled up easily if Johnston had remained at the bag, but Jimmy had run out … A double play would have ended the inning … and … the Robins would have won the game.”45

Manager Pat Moran of the Reds was enamored of Johnston. He had tried to acquire him during Cincinnati’s 1919 championship campaign and wanted to get him again in 1920. Supposedly he “would concede himself the pennant by July 4” if he could strike a deal.46 Moran might have overrated Johnston, but he foresaw that Johnston would play on a pennant winner for the second time in his Brooklyn tenure.

A sidelight of the 1920 World Series against Cleveland starred Jimmy and Doc. “In one of the games at Brooklyn Jim Johnston motioned to Wheat to play closer, whereupon brother Doc proceeded to hit to deep left. Wheat managed … to make the catch, but it was no easy task. ‘Thought you knew where your brother hit,’ grumbled Wheat when he came in off the field. ‘Doc crossed me that time,’ was Jim’s retort.”47

Brooklyn took two of the first three games, but Jimmy never would come this close again to winning a title. The Robins scored just two more runs in dropping the final four games of the best-of-nine championship to lose the World Series five games to two.

Jimmy departed Game Four and the Series for good when he left for a pinch-runner in the ninth after reaching on an infield hit. In the sixth inning of that contest, he hurt his knee trying to advance from second to third on a “foolish play”48 with two out and Brooklyn down three runs.

Like many of his peers Johnston had an aggressive baserunning approach. Baseball Reference lists caught-stealing data for seven of his seasons, during which he stole 115 of 198 bases for a 58% success rate.

Even after his World Series misadventure, Johnston retained a reputation as “a smart baserunner, about the smartest on the Brooklyn team, and is speedy. He uses his head and his feet to excellent advantage and is by far the most successful Superba in stretching hits both because of his footwork and because of his ability to size up a situation quickly.”49

In 1921 Johnston, who appeared in 152 games, remained at third base almost exclusively, although he also started two games at shortstop. Freed at last from the burden of having to master another new position, he enjoyed his best batting year. Johnston attained career highs in doubles (41), triples (14), homers (5), steals (28), slugging (.460), OPS (.832), OPS+ (115), and total bases (287). He had a batting average of .325, the best mark of his career to that point. (He would match that figure in 1923.) Johnston batted .510 over 15 games in April, was at .416 after a May 9 doubleheader, and had a 20-game hitting streak from May 21 through June 11. Brooklyn won only seven of those games, however—fitting for a season that represented more of a triumph for Johnston individually rather than collectively.

Johnston had a particularly bizarre hit that season “when he dropped to the dirt in avoiding a wild pitch from [Jesse] Barnes. The ball hit Johnston’s bat and shot away for a clean line single between first and second bases.”50

For his stellar season, Johnson did not receive a raise for 1922.51 With the emergence of rookie Andy High, Johnston instead moved around the diamond again, going back to second base as his primary position for the first time since 1919. Brooklyn beat writer Thomas Rice observed that although “Johnston was a little raw at second for awhile, [he] is improving and now ranks well up with the second sackers.”52

1922 marked the middle of three straight seasons in which Johnston batted at least .319. He hit for the cycle on May 22, but his slugging dropped dramatically after a midseason injury. Against St. Louis, he “had his right thumb severely mashed and possibly broken by a pitched ball from Ed Pfeffer.”53 Before the accident Johnston’s slash line was .357/.413/.480. He missed three weeks and finished the campaign with .319/.364/.400 marks.

Shortly after returning from the injury, Johnston shifted to shortstop, a position he had played for only 11 games over his first six Brooklyn seasons. Moving a 32-year-old to the most demanding defensive role seems strange in retrospect, particularly because he had “never shown any special proficiency at short.”54 Johnston would start 50 games at shortstop in 1922, 52 in 1923, and 63 in 1924. “Johnston has not only delivered at short, but he likes the berth. He says he can see and handle the ball better than he could at third or second.”55

Johnston had by far his best season in 1923 in wins above replacement. He bounced back with the bat to produce numbers near those of his 1921 season. He also played particularly well with the glove. Johnston moved back to second because rookie Moe Berg, far more famous for his erudition than his athleticism, debuted at shortstop. (Berg hit and fielded so poorly that he would not play in the majors again until 1926.) Johnston had the first five-hit game of his career in 1922 and had two more in 1923. The final one, on June 25, proved frustrating. Brooklyn lost the game 7–4 partly because of an error by Johnston that resulted in two unearned runs.

Johnston’s bat boomed for the rest of the month. From June 25 through June 30, Johnston had a stunning 23 hits in 28 at-bats (highlighted by eight consecutive hits), with seven doubles, a triple, two homers, and four walks. His batting average soared from .315 to .366. Nonetheless, Johnston seemed doomed to end his days playing in meaningless games. His best statistical years had not sparked Brooklyn into contention.

Robinson, optimistic about his young recruits in 1924, planned to move the reluctant Johnston back to third base.56 “Uncle Robbie” relied largely on his veterans that year. The six pitchers who threw at least 100 innings were at least 30, as were all 11 batters who had the most plate appearances, save for High (26) and Zack Taylor (25). During the preseason Johnston seemed “as necessary to the team as a keystone is to a building.”57 Yet he missed much of the season with injury.

After acquiring third baseman Milt Stock on April 25, Brooklyn shifted Johnston to shortstop exclusively for nearly three months. Johnston missed 10 days in June after hurting his leg sliding and later landed in the hospital after tearing a ligament in his knee on July 21.58 He missed a month before returning.

The Dodgers stood 13 games out of first on August 9 and 7 1/2 games behind on August 24 after losing a doubleheader (the second game a 17-0 shellacking). Brooklyn then embarked on a 15-game winning streak. Johnston had done little more than pinch-hit during this run. However, after first baseman Jack Fournier got hurt against New York on September 8, Johnston replaced him. In doing so, Johnston played against the orders of a Philadelphia specialist who predicted that he “might be permanently crippled if he fielded again this year with a stretched tendon in the left knee, but you can’t keep a squirrel on the ground.”59

Brooklyn did not hold sole position of first place at any point during September, although it tied for the top spot on September 4 and 22 before falling back. The club made its charge with few contributions from Johnston, but he received special recognition late in the regular season. Brooklyn celebrated Jimmy Johnston Day on September 27 as fans pitched in to purchase “an expensive motorcar” for the honoree.60

Johnston even got a bit of attention in postseason award voting. The 1924 NL MVP balloting featured a few surprises: Rogers Hornsby hit .424 but finished second to Johnston’s teammate Dazzy Vance, who had a sublime 28-6 season. Inexplicably, Johnston finished 18th in the balloting despite missing most of the second half of the season when Brooklyn made its pennant run.

Teams that feature older players generally worsen as they age, and Brooklyn and Johnston suffered through a forgettable 1925. In fact, Brooklyn had its worst winning percentage since 1913 that year. After the subpar season the Dodgers traded Johnston as part of a six-player swap with the Braves.

Johnston played the first part of 1926 with Boston before going on waivers to the Giants, who had a “need [of] another right-hand batter.”61 He played sparingly in New York, drew his release before the end of the season, and returned to Chattanooga to serve as player-manager of the Southern Association’s Lookouts in 1927.62 After playing for Birmingham of the Southern Association in 1928, he signed a two-year contract to return to Chattanooga as player-manager.63 Johnston spent just a single season with Chattanooga. He played for Atlanta, also in the Southern Association, in 1930. He then coached for Robinson in Brooklyn in 1931. Finally, he concluded his professional playing and managerial career with Montgomery of the Southeastern League in 1932.

Johnston stayed involved in the game thereafter by working as park superintendent of Chattanooga’s Engel Stadium.64 He held the superintendent role until 1960.65 Jimmy Johnston died on February 14, 1967.

Johnston combined quality and quantity during his decade in Brooklyn. In 1950 longtime Brooklyn business manager Jack Collins picked Johnston as the third baseman for his all-Brooklyn club.66 Holder of the longest consecutive-game streak in Brooklyn history (386 games, from 1920 to 1922), Johnston remains among the top 25 Dodgers in games, at-bats, batting average, runs, hits, doubles, triples, and steals.67



This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and Will Christensen and fact-checked by Kevin Larkin.



1 “Johnston or Zim May Be a Superba,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 19, 1916: 12. If Brooklyn could have consummated a rumored trade, Doc and Jimmy Johnston might have played together as teammates in 1916 rather than opposed one another in 1920.

2 “Mrs. Johnston, Mother of Big Leaguers, Dead,” Chattanooga Daily Times, February 27, 1952: 13.

3 Untitled and undated clipping from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s file on Johnston. Thanks to Reference Librarian Cassidy Lent of the Hall for scanning the Johnston file.

4 Although an obituary claims Clifton Johnston also played for Birmingham and Chattanooga (“Last Baseball Brother Dies,” Oakland Tribune, April 11, 1967: 41.), the author found no evidence supporting this assertion. One story mentions him playing in a game for Class B Bessemer against Jimmy and Class A Birmingham in 1912. “Barons Barely Defeat Marvels,” The Birmingham News, April 8, 1912: 10. Jimmy batted third, played center, and went 3-for-5 with a double. Clifton batted fifth, played left, and went 1-for-5 with a triple.

5 “Complexion of J. Dobbs’ Squad,” Nashville Banner, February 24, 1910: 14. Baseball Reference says Johnston hit .267 but gives no data on his defense.

6 “Tigers Hammer Hendrix,” The Spokesman-Review, May 1, 1910: 29.

7 Johnston also stole 46 bases.

8 “Jimmy Johnston May Get Trial with White Sox,” Chattanooga Daily Times, November 1, 1910: 7.

9 “Speed Boy Married,” Ottumwa Tri-Weekly Courier, November 10, 1910: 7. Doc got married the same month, and both remained married to their wives for more than half a century. “Caught on the Fly,” The Sporting News, July 27, 1960: 38.

10 “Barons Shut Out by Rube Benton,” The Birmingham News, August 23, 1911: 6.

11 “Jimmy Johnston’s out of Game for Rest of Season,” The Montgomery Times, August 25, 1911: 8.

12 “Interesting Bits of Sport Chatter,” The Fort Wayne Sentinel, September 8, 1911: 8.

13 “Baseball Gossip,” Pittsburgh Daily Post, November 1, 1911: 9.

14 George K. Leonard, “Luke’s Chicks Hot as Dixie Weather,” The Sporting News, July 2, 1952: 29.

15 “To Return Johnston,” The Times-Democrat, January 5, 1912: 11.

16 Untitled and undated clipping from the Hall of Fame’s file on Johnston.

17 Johnston led the PCL in stolen bases.

18 “The Case of Johnston,” December 11, 1915. Clipping from the Hall of Fame file on Johnston.

19 “Johnston Signs Contract,” March 22, 1916. Clipping from the Hall of Fame file on Johnston.

20 Thomas S. Rice, “Superbas in Excellent Shape for Games Against Athletics,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 25, 1916: 14. This early-career comparison to Cobb seems far-fetched; a much later one to Babe Ruth makes more sense in context: “Ruth sacrificed with one out, nearly getting a safe hit because it was the last thing the Giants were expecting. It was the kind of play that Jimmy Johnston of the Superbas would have made … which makes Jimmy one of the best and most dangerous ball players in the major leagues today.” “How Giants Won Final,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 9, 1922: 24.

21 Donald Morris, “Brooklyn Bats Busy,” Sporting Life, July 1, 1916: 6.

22 Thomas S. Rice, “Smith’s Return to Form Should Strengthen Superbas,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 30, 1916: 40.

23 Thomas S. Rice, “Cheney’s Steadiness in Pinches Shuts out the Reds,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 9, 1916: 33.

24 Thomas S. Rice, “Superbas Start Final Western Trip by Beating Mamaux,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 18, 1916: 10.

25 Thomas S. Rice, “Ed Pfeffer Called to Arms and Answers Next Tuesday,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 13, 1918: 11.

26 Thomas S. Rice, “‘Anything to Beat Brooklyn’ the New York Slogan,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 21, 1916: 14.

27 Thomas S. Rice, “Second Defeat of the Cubs Not without Its Disaster,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 23, 1916: 16.

28 “A Weekly Digest of Most Important News,” Sporting Life, September 2, 1916: 4. “Dr. William Pitts, the club physician of the Cubs on August 24 removed a portion of the bone of the nose of Jimmy Johnston”

29 Thomas S. Rice, “Superbas Hold Lead on Phils – Braves about through,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 23, 1916: 12. Johnston never stole more than three bases in a game in the majors. On August 9, 1919, he again stole three bases, but in that game, in contrast to this one, he had a caught stealing.

30 Ernest J. Lanigan, “Dell Led Superba Pitchers in Catching Men Off Base,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 14, 1917: 36.

31 Thomas S. Rice, “Superba Batters on Top in Hits and Sacrifices,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 13, 1916: 8.

32 Thomas S. Rice, “Departure of Merkle Leaves No Substitute for Jake Daubert,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 23, 1917: 9.

33 Thomas S. Rice, “Another Double Swatting Handed That Boston Jinx,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 26, 1917: 20. A postseason review more than one year later showed Johnston’s progress at one of his new positions: “The versatile Johnston has astonished the natives … by the way he adapted himself to first base” Thomas S. Rice, “Release of Soldier Players Will Make Superbas Strong,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 5, 1918: 16.

34 Thomas S. Rice, “Injury to Jimmy Johnson [SIC] Adds to Superba Troubles,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 29, 1917: 20.

35 Thomas S. Rice, “Jimmy Johnston to Test the Work or Fight Order,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 12, 1918: 9.

36 “Govt. May Lose $500,000 If Big Leagues Shut Up Shop,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 24, 1918: 24.

37 “Wheat Will Leave before Labor Day,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 29, 1918: 18.

38 Thomas S. Rice, “Pennant Prospects Keep Superbas Warm,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 26, 1919: 18.

39 “Superbas Beat Phils Twice; But One Game Shy of .500 Mark,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 29, 1919: 40.

40 “Thirteen Superbas Marooned While Pirates Score Easily,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 12, 1919: 4.

41 “Johnston Alone in the Game As Infielding Outfielder,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 17, 1919: 43. In contrast to the title and thesis of the article, Johnston’s much more colorfully named contemporary and future teammate Possum Whitted also qualifies as an infielding outfielder.

42 Thomas S. Rice, “One or Two Deals, and 1920 Pennant — Robbie,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 26, 1919: 20.

[43 Thomas S. Rice, “Ebbets Crowed Too Soon So It Seems,” The Sporting News, March 11, 1920: 3.

44 Abe Yager, “Everybody Kept on the Jump When the Superbas Practice,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 25, 1920: 44.

45 Frank Graham, The Brooklyn Dodgers: An Informal History (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 2002), 78.

46 “Reds Fear the Superbas in Race for the Pennant,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 22, 1920: 3.

47 J.G. Taylor Spink, “Plenty of Politics as Side Issue,” The Sporting News, October 14, 1920: 6.

48 Thomas S. Rice, “Superbas at Wrong End of Baseball’s Greatest Game,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 11, 1920: 20. Catcher Otto Miller spoke of the “demoralizing effects of the injury to Jimmy Johnston. Everyone who saw the last four games noticed the difference.” “Eagle Stories Saved Us the Pennant – Otto Miller,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 15, 1920: 20.

49 Thomas S. Rice, “Quitting of Joe Dugan Should Wake Up the Fans to Treating Players Right,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 4, 1921: 18.

50 Thomas S. Rice, “Now It’s the Thicker Bat That’s Held Responsible for Increase in Home Runs,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, May 10, 1922: 25.

51 “Very Few Superbas Are Obstreperous, Says Boss Ebbets,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 10, 1922: 14.

52 Thomas S. Rice, “Tells How Dodgers Have Been on Rise,” The Sporting News, June 8, 1922: 3.

53 Thomas S. Rice, “Fifth Defeat by Cards Nearly Breaks up Team; Game Is Protested,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 11, 1922: 22.

54 Thomas S. Rice, “It Is up to Grimes to Make First Move to Lift Suspension,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 12, 1922: 11.

55 Thomas S. Rice, “Grimes to the Reds; Wheat to Cardinals, Are Probable Deals,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 28, 1922: 26.

56 Abe Yager, “Ebbets and Robbie Deny Rumor, but It Persists; Gonzales Pipe Is Out,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 26, 1924: 22.

57 Abe Yager, “Robbie Is Now Puzzled Over Job for Johnston; Wallop Indians Again,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 28, 1924: 26.

58 “Specialist Finds Jimmy Johnston Has Torn Ligament,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 3, 1924: 1.

59 Thomas S. Rice, “Vance Still Leads Way for Dodgers,” The Sporting News, September 18, 1924: 1.

60 Thomas S. Rice, “Fans Present Jimmy Johnson with Motorcar,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 27, 1924: 1.

61 Sportsman, “Live Tips and Topics,” The Boston Globe, June 30, 1926: 24.

62 “Jimmy Johnston to Manage Chattanooga,” The Boston Globe, December 4, 1926: 8.

63 “Chattanooga Puts over a Speedy One,” The Sporting News, November 22, 1928: 6.

64 “Southern Association,” The Sporting News, July 9, 1952: 43.

65 The Sporting News, March 1, 1961: 25.

66 “Collins’ All-Time Flatbush Team – Campanella Catcher,” The Sporting News, April 19, 1950: 6.

67 “Club Iron Men,” The Sporting News, December 12, 1956: 2.

Full Name

James Harle Johnston


December 10, 1889 at Cleveland, TN (USA)


February 14, 1967 at Chattanooga, TN (USA)

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