Johnny Washington

From BR Bullpen

Note: This page is for 1930s and 1940s infielder Johnny Washington; for others with the same name, click here.

John G. Washington

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 2", Weight 185 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Johnny Washington spent almost two decades in the Negro Leagues except for a break for military service. There has been some confusion over his identity as a second individual named Johnny Washington claimed to have played in the Negro Leagues and that this Washington's information was mixed up with his. The second Johnny Washington (still alive as of 2009) never provided any proof to Negro League researchers despite several attempts to corroborate his claims.

Washington broke in during 1933 with the minor Montgomery Grey Sox. In 1934, the teenager hit .250 for the Birmingham Black Barons. He switched to the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1936 and hit .296 as a backup at first base to Oscar Charleston. Johnny made the 1936 East-West Game, going 0 for 1 with an error after replacing Shifty Jim West at first base for the East. He would not appear in the East-West Game again for over a decade.

In 1937, Washington hit .224 as a regular outfielder for Pittsburgh. He replaced the legendary Charleston at first base in 1938 after having been groomed as his successor but batted only .204. In 1939, Johnny batted .250 for the New York Black Yankees. That winter, he hit .307 for Almendares in the Cuban Winter League to help them win the title; only Willie Wells had a better average for Almendares. Washington was named the All-Star 1B ahead of Mule Suttles and Santos Amaro.

In 1940, Johnny hit .281 at the heart of the Black Yankees order. He slumped to .200 in the 1940-1941 Cuban Winter League while playing for Santa Clara; he was their worst-hitting regular. In 1941, Washington joined the Baltimore Elite Giants and hit .299 out of the #3 slot in the order.

Washington missed the 1942-1945 seasons, presumably what would have been his prime, to serve his country during World War II. He returned in 1946 but only hit .140 for Baltimore. He had his best season in 1947, hitting .406 in mid-July before he injured his eye. He still finished at .392, second to Luis Marquez in the Negro National League. His 17 doubles tied Johnny Davis and Bob Harvey for third behind Henry Kimbro and Monte Irvin. He played for the East in the first 1947 East-West Game, starting at first base and hitting third, in front of Irvin. He went 0 for 4 in the contest as the East got 3-hit by Dan Bankhead, Gentry Jessup and Chet Brewer.

In 1948, the Baltimore first sacker hit .308. He switched to the Houston Eagles in 1949 and batted .345, then hit .351 for them in 1950. In the 1950 East-West Game, Washington was 0 for 2 with an error while backing up Alonzo Perry as first baseman for the West.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time NNL All-Star (1936 & 1947)
  • NNL Batting Average Leader (1940)
  • NNL Singles Leader (1941)
  • NNL Triples Leader (1936)


Related Sites[edit]