Walter Johnson

Walter Johnson was born in 1887 in Humboldt, Kansas. Nicknamed “The Big Train”, he played 21 years for the Washington Senators in Griffith Stadium. One of the best pitchers in the history of baseball, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class in 1936. He is the only pitcher in major league history to record over 400 wins and strike out over 3,500 batters.

He married Hazel Lee Roberts, daughter of Nevada congressman Edwin Roberts in 1914 at an apartment in Columbia Heights. Together, they had five children, living their entire marriage Washington and Maryland. Hazel tragically died in 1930 from heat stroke related issues. Walter died in 1946.

Walter Johnson and his son Eddie in 1938

Walter Johnson Hosts Event for Hunting Dogs on His Germantown Farm

We found an interesting article about one of our Washington heros, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, Walter Johnson. We’ve written quite a number of pieces about his baseball exploits over the years, as well as...

Rare Photo of Walter Johnson and Gabby Street

Here is a rare photo that we haven’t yet come across. We found it at the Detroit Public Library, of all places. Make sure you read the story about how Gabby Street was the only person...
Walter Johnson and his son Eddie in 1938

Photo of Walter Johnson and Son

Here’s a great old photo sent in by original GoDCer Ben. Sorry it took so long to post this Ben!
Walter Johnson in 1907

The Time Walter Johnson Pitched 18 Innings in One Game!

Walter Johnson is one of the greatest pitchers of all time, and on May 15, 1918, he delivered a performance that stood out from any of his other games. He pitched a total of 18 innings...
1925 Washington Senators

Senators Demolish the Yankees in 1925 Home Opener at Griffith Stadium

We found this great composite of photos summarizing the opening game for the Washington Senators against the New York Yankees at Griffith Stadium, on April 22, 1925 – 89 years ago last week! This was the...
Walter Johnson in 1939

What Did Walter Johnson’s Voice Sound Like? Listen To This 1939 Senators Broadcast.

It’s been extremely difficult for me to track down any audio recording of the greatest pitcher of all time, Walter Johnson. We have written so much about him, and yet, we have no idea what is...
Walter Johnson becomes "Chief Heavy Breast"

Walter Johnson Becomes “Chief Heavy Breast”

In light of the ongoing debate about the Redskins, this is either very apropos or very inappropriate. I guess it depends on which side of the debate you fall. Nevertheless, this is a photo sent in...

Walter Johnson at 12 Years Old in 1900 U.S. Census

This is cool. We dug up a really rare U.S. Census record from 1900 showing the Johnson family of Humbolt, Kansas. Their 12-year-old boy would eventually grow up to be on of the greatest pitchers in...
Walter Johnson's wife buried. This photograph was taken at the funeral of Mrs. Walter Johnson, wife of the manager of the Washington baseball club. Those in the picture, reading from left to right, include: Mrs. Frank N. Johnson of Coffeyville, Kas., his mother; Walter Johnson; Edwin Johnson, a son; Edwin R. Roberts, Mayor of Reno candidate for the governorship of Nevada, Mrs. Johnson's father; Carolyn and Robert, two of the younger Johnson children, and at the extreme right, the Rev. Joseph E. Williams, pastor of the Bethesda, Md. Episcopal Church, where the Johnsons worshipped

This Is So Sad. Walter Johnson Buries His Wife Hazel.

Source: Library of Congress Hazel Johnson (née Hazel Lee Roberts) was only 36 years old when she succumbed to heatstroke on August 1st, 1930. It was such a tragic death for the wife of Washington great...
Jordan Zimmermann in action

Jordan Zimmermann and the Big Train

Jordan Zimmermann’s stunning 1-0 one-hit victory over the Cincinnati Reds Friday night quite possibly was the best pitching performance for the Nationals since baseball returned to Washington in 2005. Zimmermann, however, would have to hurl five...
Walter Johnson in 1939

An Older Walter Johnson Reminisces …

Here is a very different photo of the “Big Train” in April 1939. He is looking at a box of baseballs, autographed by six presidents. These are baseballs that were thrown out as the first pitch...
Walter & Hazel Johnson in 1924 (Library of Congress)

Walter Johnson Was a Suffragist

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the women’s suffrage parade in Washington. Give the historical importance of that, and the fact that today is Opening Day, here’s an apro pos article for us to share...

1909 Walter Johnson Baseball Card

Ghosts of DC is getting pumped for Washington Nationals 2013 baseball! In preparation for this year, here is the patron saint of Washington, D.C. baseball, the Big Train … Walter Johnson.
Washington National Cathedral at twilight

Three Things That Happened at Washington National Cathedral

Exactly one year ago today, one of the most spectacular buildings in Washington was badly damaged by the earthquake that shook our city. So much so, that the repairs are going to cost millions of dollars...

The 2012 Nationals and the Ghost of Walter Johnson

This is a guest post by Rick. He also wrote a good one on the alley dwellings in Foggy Bottom. The District’s baseball fans are beginning to believe that the 2012 Nationals may actually make it...
Joe DiMaggio at Griffith Stadium - May 28th, 1941

First Night Game at Griffith Stadium

May 28th, 1941 was an important day in Washington baseball history. That evening, Griffith Stadium hosted its first-ever night game under the newly installed lights. The Senators were playing the powerful New York Yankees, led by...
Walter and Hazel Johnson with Walter's mother (Library of Congress)

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Johnson Tie the Knot on Monroe St. NW

Here’s one of the best story tips we’ve received thus far. Thanks to GoDCer Jack in Poolesville who tipped us off to the Big Train’s nuptials being held in a regular apartment at 1498 Monroe St....
Walter Johnson in 1907

19-Year-Old Phenom Debuts For Washington: Walter Johnson

Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg and now Bryce Harper. We have had some serious players groomed in the Nationals organization over the last several years. I love these guys, but none of them compare to the granddaddy...
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