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Billy Johnson (baseball)

MLB Player information
NameBilly Johnson
PositionThird baseman
BatsRight
ThrowsRight
MLB debutApril 22, 1943 for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearanceMay 10, 1953 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
Batting average.271
Home runs61
Runs batted in487
Teams
* New York Yankees (1943 1951) * St. Louis Cardinals (1951 1953)

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William Russell Johnson was a former third baseman in Major League Baseball who played with the New York Yankees in the 1940s and later with the St. Louis Cardinals. Johnson was born in Montclair, New Jersey on August 30, 1918.

He debuted in 1943. He had an impressive rookie season which earned him 4th place in American League MVP voting. After missing two years for wartime service, he returned to spend the next five seasons as a regular third baseman. Johnson was named an All-Star in 1947, and was a part of four championship teams in his six seasons as a regular. He was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1951 to allow Gil McDougald, a hot prospect for the Yankees, to play his position full time. He served as the Cards' third baseman for two years before retiring during the 1953 season.

Johnson shares two significant coincidences with other major leaguers:

* He was born on the same day as Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Ted Williams.

* He is the first of two unrelated players named, precisely, "William Russell Johnson" to play in the majors - and both he and Russ Johnson spent time with the Yankees.

In later years he worked as a shipping supervisor in Augusta, Georgia. He died on June 20, 2006.




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