Dec 10

Walter Johnson – Gone But Not Forgotten

On this day in 1946, Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Perry Johnson succumbs to a brain tumor. The 59 year-old

Walter Johnson

Walter Johnson

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.

  • Warren Tibbs II

    I just finished reading ” the Big Train” By Henry Thomas. I got it when I joined the Innagural Bethesda Big Train Fan Club prior to their 1st season. Henry had signed the copy. I t was and is an amazing read into the humility of Baseballs Greatest pitcher. I now reside in Kansas City Missouri,I have an 8 yr.old son and we are planning a day trip to Humboldt Kansas where Walter was born. I highley recommend any one to beg,borrow or stael to get this book to get an amazing insight into the life of Walter Johnson!!, Be Blessed. Warren N. Tibbs II ,Kansas City.MO

  • Mark Hornbaker

    Warren – Henry Thomas book The Big Train is a wonderful book. In the book Henry writes about visiting his Uncle Ed :”Walter’s son” at his farm when he was young boy. I was lucky enough to also visit Ed Johnson earlier this year at his farm. I spent around two hours talking to the 93 year-old son of the Big Train. I will always remember our conversation and I hope to visit with him again sometime soon.

  • Steve Mahaney

    Hi Mark:

    I just mailed your site to my 30 year old son. We have had a great time going to National games and he loves hearing my stories about Griffith Stadium and the Senators of the 50’s and 60’s. He will now have a place to actually read the “facts” instead of my distorted memories. Good luck


    • Mark Hornbaker

      Hi Steve:

      I hope you and your son will enjoy our stories about the old teams from D.C. I want to share another site with you and your son it is the Washington D.C. Baseball History group on Facebook. I think both you and your son will enjoy the site. We have some real nice photos of some old Washington Senators players.

  • Ben Victor

    I remember when his barn burned down in the 80s

  • Ronda Myers

    my grandfather was cliff bolton walter johnson was his manager on the 1931 washington ball club. We have several pictures of walter in 1931