New Arrival: Connie Johnson, sp, Baltimore Orioles

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  • Connie Johnson was born in December 1922.
  • His first season in baseball was 1940 with the Toledo/Indianapolis Crawfords of the Negro Leagues. He was 17 years old.
  • Missed 1943-1945 due to serving in World War 2.
  • In 1951 he joined the St. Hyacinthe Saints of the Canadian League. He would go 15-14, pitch 250 innings, allowing 225 hits and leading the league in K’s. The White Sox swooped in and signed him for the 1952 season.
  • He would not make the majors until 1953 (at age 30), and even then it was only for 60 innings. He was a great AAA pitcher, but not quite great enough to get a job with the major league club in 1954 or 1955.
  • In May of 1956 he was traded to Baltimore, and he would finally get a real crack at the majors. He would go 9-10 over a 183.2 innings, allowing 165 hits with a 1.236 WHIP.
  • 1957 was his best season in the majors, coming at the ripe old baseball age of 34. He would go 14-11 with a 3.20 ERA/1.149 WHIP over 242 innings. He was actually even a little better then those numbers would suggest: he led the league in FIP at 2.76, which makes you think he had some bad luck and poor defense his numbers.
  • Unfortunate, as is often the case back then, it looks like his arm fell off due to workload. After his 242 innings in 1957, he would only pitch 118 in 1958. He was not terrible (3.88 ERA/1.251 WHIP/3.57 FIP), but at age 35, the writing was on the wall.
  • He would spend 1958-1959 in the minors, pitch terribly, and retired.
  • All told, he would retire with a 40-39 record, amassing 8.8 WAR over five seasons.

Jackson was black. Baseball was not integrated until 1947, and even then some teams were slow to sign black players into their organizations. Jackson did not make the majors until he was, physically at least, likely past him prime. Its a shame. His numbers suggest that he would have been a great major league pitcher, instead of just a good one of a short time.

Standard Pitching
Year Age Tm Lg W L ERA G GS GF CG IP H BB SO ERA+ FIP WHIP
1953 30 CHW AL 4 4 3.56 14 10 3 2 60.2 55 38 44 113 3.98 1.533
1955 32 CHW AL 7 4 3.45 17 16 0 5 99.0 95 52 72 114 3.18 1.485
1956 33 TOT AL 9 11 3.44 31 27 2 9 196.0 176 69 136 113 2.91 1.250
1956 33 CHW AL 0 1 3.65 5 2 2 0 12.1 11 7 6 115 4.15 1.459
1956 33 BAL AL 9 10 3.43 26 25 0 9 183.2 165 62 130 113 2.83 1.236
1957 34 BAL AL 14 11 3.20 35 30 4 14 242.0 212 66 177 112 2.76 1.149
1958 35 BAL AL 6 9 3.88 26 17 2 4 118.1 116 32 68 93 3.57 1.251
5 Yr 5 Yr 5 Yr 5 Yr 40 39 3.44 123 100 11 34 716.0 654 257 497 109 3.10 1.272
162 162 162 162 12 12 3.44 38 30 3 10 218 199 78 152 109 3.10 1.272
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/29/2017.
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