On this day in 1924 Ernest Thorwald "Ernie" Johnson was born in Brattleboro, Vermont. He was 18 years old when the Boston Braves signed him as an amateur free agent in 1942, and played one partial season in the minors before missing three years while serving in World War II.
When he returned from the service Johnson still faced a long road to the big leagues: He pitched four more years in the minors before making his major league debut in 1950, then went back to the Braves' minor league affiliate in Milwaukee in 1951.
The Braves' first year in Milwaukee, however, was Johnson's best major league season. He appeared in 36 games and posted a 2.67 ERA in 1953 and went on to pitch in 197 games over the Braves' first six years following their move, posting a 3.50 ERA over 411.2 innings of work.
Johnson is one of just 28 players in major league history to be born in Vermont, and one of just ten to appear in more than 200 games.
Johnson passed away last August or he would have turned 88 today. With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday to:
- 1965 Milwaukee Brave Ken Johnson, who turns 79.
- 1953 Milwaukee Brave Max Surkont, who would have turned 90.