Ben Johnson pitched 14 seasons in minor leagues, MLB

Ben Johnson played minor league and Major League Baseball.

Ben Johnson, a native of Greenwood, S.C., spent nearly 14 seasons pitching in the minor leagues. His MLB stats total a 2-1 record in 46 innings with the Chicago Cubs in 1959 and 1960. He finished with a 3.91 earned run average. He died May 8, 2020.

He turned down scholarship offers from Clemson and Duke to sign with the Boston Braves organization.

In 1949, Evansville became the first stop in his professional journey.  A year later, he was playing minor league baseball in Milwaukee. The next season, he was back in Evansville. In 1952, his baseball career was interrupted by war and 

Johnson found himself serving as a Marine for the next two years.  In 1954, he returned to the Braves organization  — now the Milwaukee Braves — and he got a chance to stay up with the team for the first three weeks of the season. He didn’t appear in any games for the big league club and was sent back to Toledo where he spent the remainder of the year.

From there, he played in Syracuse in 1955, Austin in 1956 and Fort Worth in 1957 and 1958. In the 1958 season, he finished with a 17-6 record and got a chance to appear with the Chicago Cubs in 1959.

In 1960, he was back in the minors at Houston. In 1961, he was pitching in Hawaii. In 1962, he was back in Houston and then to Oklahoma City in 1963 and 1964. One of the highlights of his pitching career was pitching Oklahoma City to a 2-0 victory over Spokane in the seventh game of the teams’ AAA championship series.

His life after baseball included working as a foreman for Monsanto Textile Company in Greenwood, S.C. After he retired from Monsanto, he continued to work for the Custom Identity Center in Greenwood.

SOURCE: The Index-Journal

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