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Don Johnson and Elmer Gray, former Browns figures, pass away

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  • Don Johnson and Elmer Gray, former Browns figures, pass away

    Don Johnson played for the Browns in 1950 and 1951. He won five games in 31 appearances for the club.

    Johnson, Don 88 Nov. 12, 1926 Feb. 10, 2015 ...

    At Jefferson, he excelled as a pitcher on Lindsay Campbell's baseball teams, attracting the attention of major league scouts and was signed by the New York Yankees in 1943. WWII interrupted Don's early baseball career. He served two years in the U.S. Army and had the good fortune of playing with other professional ballplayers for the undefeated Ft. Lewis Warriors. At the age of 20, Don made his major league debut with the 1947 Yankees, going the distance against the Philadelphia Athletics in a 10 inning 3-2 victory. This great Yankee team, led by Joe Dimaggio, went on to win the American League pennant and World Series. Don's professional baseball career spanned 16 years with the Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Washington Senators, Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants. He also pitched for Toronto in the International League, where he led the league in ERA and strikeouts and in 1957, was named the league's MVP.
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    Elmer Gray scouted for the Browns. He died in August, but his death was not reported in this forum.

    Elmer Gray was a scout with the Cincinnati Reds in 1969 when he recommended that the club draft a raw kid from Donora, Pa. He stuck to his convictions even though most people around baseball wondered whether the player in question could be a Major Leaguer.

    That player was Ken Griffey Sr., a 29th-round selection who went on to become a three-time all star player during a 19-year career in the majors and was a key piece of the “Big Red Machine” teams that won World Series in 1975 and 1976.
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  • #2
    lol ... His Oregonian obituary mentions every team he played for except the Browns


    • #3
      We need help

      I would like to put out a call for anyone on this board that would like to write for Pop Flies the historical Journal of the St. Louis Browns. We do not have nearly enough volunteers, people. We have a fair number of volunteers to help run our annual players reunion/luncheon, but we do not have many volunteers who like to interview, write and research. This Mr. Gray was totally unknown to us. A simple phone call before he died would have mind a lot of information concerning the 4 years of Brown's history from 1950 to 1953. Now it is too late.


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