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Mike Hershberger and Stan Johnson, former KC Athletics players, pass away

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  • Mike Hershberger and Stan Johnson, former KC Athletics players, pass away


    When David Schultz moved to Massillon some 30 years ago, he didn’t have to be introduced to Mike Hershberger to know who he was.

    As one of a handful of Massillon products who went on to experience success as a Major League Baseball player — a group that included Tommy Heinrich and Joe Sparma — Hershberger’s reputation preceded him.

    “I certainly knew who he was,” said Schultz, a former publisher of The Independent who now serves as a trustee at the Massillon Museum. “Being a baseball fan, the first names that clicked when I moved to Massillon were Tommy Heinrich and Mike Hershberger.

    “Eleven years in the big leagues, that’s a significant career. That’s a major leaguer.”

    Indeed it is. Turns out Hershberger didn’t just enjoy a major league career, but also a major league life.

    That life came to end when Hershberger, 72, died Sunday evening following a brief illness.
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    Stanley "Lefty" Johnson Passed away on April 17, 2012 in San Francisco at the Irene Swindalls Alzheimer's Residential Care Facility surrounded by loved ones after succumbing to a five-year battle resisting Parkinson's Disease.

    Survived by his devoted wife of 51 years, Jacqueline "Ms. Jackie" Miles-Johnson; The cherished father of Stacey Randolph-Johnson, Stanley L. Johnson, Jr. and the adored grandfather of Niah, Giselle and Quincey Johnson; Brother to Barbara Bass-Johnson. Survived by a host of relatives and friends.

    Stan was born in Dallas, TX, but reared in San Francisco where he attended Galileo High School, then San Francisco City College and he received the first baseball scholarship offered to an African American at the University of San Francisco. He was initially drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1957.

    He enjoyed a triumphant yet formidable 16-year Major League Baseball career given the times. His Major League debut was in September 18, 1960. He traveled the globe playing baseball in Venezuela, Toronto and in 1969 his career concluded in Japan with the Taiyo Whales.
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