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November 5, 2014


Gary Ashwill

Henry, thanks. By the way, I have a box score for the Jan. 30, 1910, game against the Occidentals (courtesy of Todd Peterson). Email me if you'd like to see it.

Henry W. Thomas

All of Johnson's appearances against black teams are listed with stats on p. 389 of my book. In the six games pitched, he went 44 innings, gave up 12 runs on 25 hits, walked 3, and struck out 70.

Henry W. Thomas

In my book, "Walter Johnson: Baseball's Big Train," I cover these games and also three more apparent instances of Johnson appearances against black teams. The best documented and significant of these took place on Jan. 30, 1910, in which Johnson pitched for the Santa Ana semi-pros against the "Occidentals," winning 3-0 and striking out 15. There is probably a box score of this game in the Santa Ana Register, as there was for most of their games, but I don't have access to my notes and can't provide the exact source. I also came across a game on June 9, 1907, in which Johnson's Weiser town team played the "Rastus Rufus" team, and he didn't pitch, but probably played. And on June 1, 1940 Johnson went to Thurmont, Maryland, and pitched an inning against a "colored" CCC team from Gettysburg, as part of Johnson's campaign for Congress that year. The 52 year-old Johnson gave up one hit and struck out two in his one inning, then umpired the rest of the game. As for the supposed Johnson-Williams matchup, I believe that story to be the result of confusing Williams's 1-0 victory over Grover Cleveland Alexander and Frank Wickware's 1-0 win over Walter Johnson, both of which took place the same day, October 5, 1913. One other interesting connection between Johnson and blacks is found in the book "Having Our Say, the Delany Sisters' First Hundred Years," by Sarah and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill. "Sadie and I loved Walter Johnson, a pitcher for the Washington team," they wrote. "If he was pitching in New York, we were there!" Finally, thank you for this site and all of your research and documentation of this aspect of baseball.

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