On this day in 1946, Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Perry Johnson succumbs to a brain tumor. The 59 year-old Johnson was diagnosed with the brain tumor eight months earlier when he traveled from his farm in Germantown to the Georgetown University Hospital complaining of severe headaches.
The news about Johnson’s death was not a surprise to most Washingtonians as the Washington Post frequently printed updates on Johnson’s condition from the time he was admitted into the hospital on April 15, 1946.
The announcement of The Big Train’s death saddened baseball fans throughout the country. On December 11th President Harry S. Truman led millions of Americans in tribute to the memory of Walter Johnson. The President remembers Johnson as a great ball player and a great man.
On December 12, 1946 thousands of people attended Walter Johnson’s funeral at the National Cathedral. After the service Walter Johnson was taken to his final resting spot at the Rockville Union Cemetery where he was placed next to his wife Hazel who was laid to rest 16 years earlier.