Jing Johnson

From BR Bullpen

Russell Conwell Johnson

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Biographical Information[edit]

" . . . for him a professorship in Chemistry in some large university." - the prediction in the Ursinus College yearbook as to what would happen to Jing Johnson after college (the yearbook also predicted he would play for the Athletics)

Jing Johnson pitched five years for the Philadelphia Athletics, widely spaced apart in 1916-1917, 1919, and 1927-1928.

Johnson was a star pitcher at Ursinus College, and graduated with honors in chemistry.

He was in the Navy in World War I (missing the 1918 baseball season), and much later was a training officer at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia during World War II.

Johnson and Connie Mack engaged in a salary dispute in 1920, which resulted in Jing leaving baseball for seven years.

Said Mack: "I don't blame him for quitting professional baseball if he can make more money in other ways." (TSN, 3/4/1920). Johnson made more money as a research chemist at Bethlehem Steel, coached at Lehigh University (1926-1928), and also played semi-pro ball in the interim.

In 1927, Mack finally gave in to Johnson's salary demands.

Later in life, he was athletic director at Ursinus (as well as coaching the baseball team some years) and in 1935 president of the Middle Atlantic College Athletic Conference.

After World War II he worked for the Veterans Administration and ran an appliance store with his nephew. He died in an auto accident in a rural area near Pottstown, PA.

Main source: SABR biography of Jing Johnson.

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