Author Topic: A Sad Day: Walter Johnson Died, December 10, 1946  (Read 384 times)

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Offline welch

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A Sad Day: Walter Johnson Died, December 10, 1946
« Topic Start: December 10, 2017, 05:39:15 PM »
Quote

Walter Johnson – Gone But Not Forgotten

By Mark Hornbaker

On this day in 1946, Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Perry Johnson succumbs to a brain tumor. The 59 year-old

Johnson was diagnosed with the brain tumor eight months earlier when he traveled from his farm in Germantown to the Georgetown University Hospital complaining of severe headaches.

The news about Johnson’s death was not a surprise to most Washingtonians as the Washington Post frequently printed updates on Johnson’s condition from the time he was admitted into the hospital on April 15, 1946.

The announcement of The Big Train’s death saddened baseball fans throughout the country. On December 11th President Harry S. Truman led millions of Americans in tribute to the memory of Walter Johnson. The President remembers Johnson as a great ball player and a great man.

On December 12, 1946 thousands of people attended Walter Johnson’s funeral at the National Cathedral. After the service Walter Johnson was taken to his final resting spot at the Rockville Union Cemetery where he was placed next to his wife Hazel who was laid to rest 16 years earlier.

From DC Baseball History, at http://dcbaseballhistory.com/2017/12/walter-johnson-gone-but-not-forgotten/

Offline blue911

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Re: A Sad Day: Walter Johnson Died, December 10, 1946
« Reply #1: December 10, 2017, 09:41:13 PM »
Otis Redding December 10,1967

Offline Ray D

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Re: A Sad Day: Walter Johnson Died, December 10, 1946
« Reply #2: December 11, 2017, 02:31:43 AM »

Augusto Pinochet,  December 10, 2006

Offline HondoKillebrew

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Re: A Sad Day: Walter Johnson Died, December 10, 1946
« Reply #3: December 12, 2017, 08:27:24 PM »
The Big Train.  The greatest pitcher the game has known and a fantastic person, from all accounts. 

Offline varoadking

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Re: A Sad Day: Walter Johnson Died, December 10, 1946
« Reply #4: December 12, 2017, 08:51:17 PM »
The Big Train.  The greatest pitcher the game has known and a fantastic person, from all accounts.

I saw a TV special on him on the MLB Network a while back.  Somehow they calculated that his fastball topped out at 83MPH.

Different times, for sure...

Offline HondoKillebrew

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Re: A Sad Day: Walter Johnson Died, December 10, 1946
« Reply #5: December 12, 2017, 09:46:41 PM »
I saw a TV special on him on the MLB Network a while back.  Somehow they calculated that his fastball topped out at 83MPH.

Different times, for sure...

Seems there were wide variations in the early mechanisms for measuring the speed of pitches.  According to the link below, he was indeed measured at 83 in the first measurements of the velocity of any pitcher, but he was also measured at 91 mph in another test and at 99 in yet another. 

http://scoutee.co/the-historic-quest-for-speed-in-baseball/


Offline welch

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Re: A Sad Day: Walter Johnson Died, December 10, 1946
« Reply #6: December 13, 2017, 02:59:53 PM »
Seems there were wide variations in the early mechanisms for measuring the speed of pitches.  According to the link below, he was indeed measured at 83 in the first measurements of the velocity of any pitcher, but he was also measured at 91 mph in another test and at 99 in yet another. 

http://scoutee.co/the-historic-quest-for-speed-in-baseball/



The 83 mph test measured the total travel time of a pitch that Johnson, and another pitcher, threw in street shoes aiming at a slot 60 feet away. Flat concrete floor.

Pitches now are measured at release-point, which is much higher. MLB Gameday will show release speed and total speed. After reading a discussion of Johnson's speed, I started looking at total speed on Gameday to see what release speed gave mid-80s. Johnson probably threw mid-90s if measured the way modern pitchers are measured.

In other discussions, someone observed that pitchers from Johnson's era threw harder to the really good batters. It was estimated that Johnson and Smoky Joe Wood could touch 100 if pitching to Ty Cobb, but only needed 85 or 90 mph for others.

(In the late 1930's, Johnson admitted that he threw harder than Bob Feller, and Feller agreed. Read Hank Thomas's biography of Walter Johnson to understand why someone had to provoke Johnson to "admit" his comparison to Feller. It's great off-season reading.)

Offline Ray D

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Re: A Sad Day: Walter Johnson Died, December 10, 1946
« Reply #7: December 14, 2017, 08:29:12 PM »
My dad saw Johnson pitch.  He saw Feller pitch.  Johnson was faster.