Judy Johnson

William Julius "Judy" Johnson (October 26, 1899 – June 15, 1989) was an American professional third baseman and manager whose career in Negro league baseball spanned 17 seasons, from 1921 to 1937. Slight of build, Johnson never developed as a power threat but achieved his greatest success as a contact hitter and an intuitive defenseman. Johnson is regarded as one of the greatest third basemen of the Negro leagues. In 1975, he was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame after being nominated by the Negro Leagues Committee.

From 1921 to 1929, Johnson was a member of the Hilldale Daisies ball club and became an on-the-field leader respected for his professional disposition. His consistent swing and fielding prowess helped the Daisies win three straight pennants in the Eastern Colored League and the 1925 Colored World Series. After serving as a player manager for the Homestead Grays followed by the Daisies in the early 1930s, Johnson signed with the Pittsburgh Crawfords; as a part of the vaunted Crawford line-up of 1935, Johnson contributed to a team widely considered the greatest in Negro league history. He retired in 1937 after a short second stint with the Grays.

Following his retirement from baseball as a player, Johnson became a scout for Major League Baseball teams. He was hired as an assistant coach by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1954, becoming one of the first African Americans signed to a coaching position on a major league ball club. In his later years, Johnson served on the Negro Leagues Committee and stepped down in 1975 to accept his hall of fame nomination. He suffered a stroke in 1988 and died a year later.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson 1924
Third baseman
Born: October 26, 1899
Snow Hill, Maryland
Died: June 15, 1989 (aged 89)
Wilmington, Delaware
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Negro leagues debut
1921, for the Hilldale Club
Last appearance
1937, for the Homestead Grays
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1975

Life and career

Early life

William Julius Johnson was born on October 26, 1899, in Snow Hill, Maryland to William Henry Johnson, a sailor and licensed boxing coach, and Annie Lee Johnson.[1] Johnson had an older sister Mary Emma and a younger brother John, both of whom were named after heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson, a long-time friend of William Henry. Early into his childhood, the family moved to Wilmington, Delaware; by that time his father worked at the docks as a shipbuilder and as the athletic director at the Negro Settlement House.[2]

When Johnson was eight years old, his father began grooming him to become a pugilist. William Henry bought two pairs of boxing gloves: one pair for his son and the other for Mary Emma, his sparring partner.[3] The sport was unappealing to Johnson, however; instead, he began playing sandlot ball and joined his father's local amateur team the Rosedale Blues which competed against black and white teams.[4] In 1917, he stopped attending Howard High School to work on shipyards in New Jersey and play weekend games on baseball teams that were drawn from the community, including the Rosalies and the Chester Stars. The following year he joined the semi-professional ball club the Bacharach Giants for a $5 wage per game.[5]

The Hilldale Daisies (1921-1929)

In early 1919, Johnson worked out for the Hilldale Daisies and was attached with the Madison Stars, Hilldale's unofficial minor league affiliate, to hone his skills. By 1921, with the Daisies in need of an infielder, Johnson signed a professional baseball contract worth $135 a month with Ed Bolden, who owned the Hilldale ball club.[5][6] The rookie ballplayer was soon adorned with the nickname "Judy" because of his resemblance to Chicago American Giants pitcher Judy Gans; the name stuck with Johnson for the duration of his baseball career.[7] Johnson spent his first year as a professional ballplayer at shortstop while his player manager William Francis played at third base, Johnson's natural position. Once the regular season began, Johnson struggled at the plate, finishing his rookie year with a .188 batting average (BA), yet he played everyday and was mentored by Francis in the offseason in order to make the transition to third base.[5][8]

During the 1922 season, Johnson was used as the starting third baseman. With Francis leaving for the Bacharach Giants, Johnson looked to John Henry Lloyd for guidance.[9] A renowned infielder, the veteran ballplayer became a role model to him, and Johnson's defensive style closely resembled his mentor's.[2] After his playing career, Johnson stated, "He's [Lloyd] the man I give the credit to for polishing my skills; he taught me how to play third base and how to protect myself... John taught me more baseball than anyone else".[2] In the offseason, the Hilldale club joined Bolden's newly established Eastern Colored League (ECL). Bolden had rebuilt the team as well, strengthening its core with the signings of Biz Mackey and George "Tank" Carr, both from the American Giants.[6]

The 1923 campaign was the beginning of a series of successful seasons for Johnson which saw his emergence as a hitter and leader of the Daisies.[10] Measured at 5-feet-11 inches and 155 lbs. (70.3 kg.), Johnson never developed as a serious power threat; instead, he became a player who consistently hit for contact and drove the ball at gaps in the defense.[11] A "scientific hitter" at the plate, as sports historian Richard Bak described him, Johnson used different strategies to get on base such as taking walks or crowding in on the plate to allow the ball to hit his sleeve.[11] In the field, Johnson was the defensive leader of the Daisies' infield, noted for his intuitive fielding prowess and strong throwing arm.[2] The Daisies won their first Eastern Colored League pennant with Johnson as their most consistent player at the plate; he batted .391 in 1923.[1][12]

The Hilldale club had another successful season in 1924, clinching their second pennant.[1] The Daisies had high expectations when they met the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League (NNL) in the 1924 Colored World Series, the first official World Series between the respective champions of the NNL and ECL.[13] Johnson led both teams with a .364 BA and hit a clutch Inside-the-park home run in Game Five of the best-of-nine series, but the Daisies lost, five games to four (with one tied game).[2] The following season, with Johnson hitting .392, the Daisies secured a third straight pennant and returned to the World Series for a rematch with the Monarchs.[2] The favored Hilldale club owed its success in the series—which they won five-to-one—to a stronger line-up consisting of seven starters finishing the regular season batting over .300 and pitching staff led by Nip Winters.[14]

After the season, Johnson started playing winter ball in Cuba and was moved to the clean-up spot in the line-up for the remainder of his stint with Hilldale.[5] The Daisies finished second in the ECL pennant race of 1926 to the Bacharach Giants. During the playoffs, the Daisies played four exhibition games against a team composed of white major leaguers, including Lefty Grove, Heinie Manush, and Jimmy Dykes. Hilldale bested them in three out of the four games; Johnson, ironically, made more money from the games than if the team had played in the World Series.[15]

The 1930s

The onset of the Great Depression in the United States drastically affected attendance at Negro league baseball games, forcing the Daisies to temporarily fold before the 1930 season. At 29 years old, Johnson signed on with the Homestead Grays as a player manager.[2][16] During the season, Johnson directed his attention to Crawford Colored Giants catcher Josh Gibson who was mentioned in several newspapers for his ability to hit long home runs. The Grays, however, did not seriously pursue Gibson—the team already had two catchers, Buck Ewing and Vic Harris, on its roster.[17] On July 25, 1930, the Grays played an exhibition game with the Monarchs; scheduled at night, the field was illuminated by Monarchs owner J. L. Wilkinson's portable lighting system to attract fans. Ewing, the starting catcher, lost sight of the ball in the low visibility and was injured by a pitch as Harris was playing in the outfield. In attendance, Gibson was called from the stands by Johnson to catch for the remainder of the game. He finished the season with the Grays; Johnson, his mentor, used him to catch batting practice everyday and gradually worked him into the line-up.[2][16]

Johnson spent the 1931 and early 1932 seasons managing the Daisies which joined the East–West League for the latter year.[15] Although he was in the twilight of his playing career, Johnson still felt he could contribute to a winning team and signed on with the Pittsburgh Crawfords in 1932.[18] The 1932 Crawfords team is considered one of the greatest squads ever assembled, often receiving comparisons to the New York Yankees' 1927 team known as the Murderers' Row.[2] Their owner, the wealthy businessman Gus Greenlee, had little experience with baseball when he purchased the Crawfords in 1930 but was determined to aggressively purchase and trade for the best available players. By 1932, Greenlee signed five future hall of famers: Johnson, Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige, and Oscar Charleston, the player manager.[19]

Like Charleston, Johnson remained productive in the latter stage of his career, hitting well above a .300 BA during his five-year stint with the Crawfords. In 1935, he was chosen as captain, and the Crawfords were favored to win the pennant race.[2][20] The team secured the first half of the championship but finished second in the latter half to the Cuban Giants. As a tiebreaker, both clubs met for a seven-game series to determine the winner of the pennant.[21] In Game Seven, with the Crawfords trailing 7-4 and down to their final out, Johnson hit an infield single to load the bases and kept Pittsburgh's pennant hopes alive. Charleston followed next in the order and hit a walk-off grand slam to win the game and the series.[2]

Although the Crawfords finished the second half of 1936 in first place and Johnson showed little signs of slowing down with age, Greenlee shockingly traded him and Gibson to the Homestead Grays in exchange for Pepper Bassett and Henry Spearman, both of whom were considered marginal players at best. Johnson took the deal personally; he played for a few games at the beginning of the 1937 season and announced his retirement soon after.[5][20]

Later life and legacy

After he retired from baseball, Johnson worked for the Continental Cab Company and managed a general goods store with his brother.[22] In 1951, the Philadelphia Athletics hired Johnson as a scout. He urged the team, albeit unsuccessfully, to sign prospects Larry Doby, Hank Aaron, and Minnie Minoso.[23] Before the Athletics relocated to Kansas in 1954, the club assigned Johnson as an assistant coach tasked with instructing black players Bob Trice and Vic Power during spring training.[23] Due to the brief nature of Johnson's assignment, Buck O'Neil is generally credited with being the first African-American to coach in Major League Baseball (MLB).[24]

Johnson spent time scouting with the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, and Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1950s and 1960s.[23] He is credited with instigating the signings of slugger Richie Allen and Bill Bruton who later became his son-in-law.[23] As one of the oldest surviving stars of the Negro leagues, Johnson was offered a seat on the Committee on Negro Baseball Leagues when it was appointed by MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn in 1971. The Committee's responsibility was to select noteworthy Negro league players for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.[23][24]

In 1975, Johnson stepped down from his position in the Committee to accept his hall of fame nomination.[24] Johnson is recognized as the best third baseman of the Negro leagues; Arthur Ashe in his book A Hard Road to Glory termed his play as "the standard by which other third-basemen were measured".[2] His leadership was the center piece of two of the most dominant Negro league teams—the Hilldale Daisies in the 1920s and the Pittsburgh Crawfords in the 1930s.[2][25] Former teammates, including Ted Page and Johnson's mentor Cool Papa Harris, praised his composure under pressure, both on the field and at the plate.[24] Johnson suffered a stroke in 1988 and died a year later on June 15, 1989, in Wilmington; he was 89 years old.[22] His home, the William Julius "Judy" Johnson House in Marshallton, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.[26]

References

  1. ^ a b c Freedman 2007, pp. 17-19.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Berger, Ralph (August 23, 2016). "William Julius 'Judy' Johnson". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  3. ^ Wilson, Brian (January 29, 2016). "Judy Johnson". MLB. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  4. ^ Bankes 2004, pp. 62-63.
  5. ^ a b c d e "William 'Judy' Johnson". Kansas State University. 2006. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Haupert, Michael (October 25, 2012). "Ed Bolden". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  7. ^ "BASEBALL HALL OF FAMER 'JUDY' JOHNSON DIES". Washington Post. June 17, 1989. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  8. ^ Billus 2002, p. 48.
  9. ^ Billus 2002, p. 49.
  10. ^ Billus 2002, pp. 49-51.
  11. ^ a b Bak 1994, p. 151.
  12. ^ "William 'Judy' Johnson". Center for Negro League Baseball Research. 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  13. ^ Walker, Rhiannon (October 19, 2016). "The first Negro League World Series". The Undefeated. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  14. ^ "Negro League World Series" (PDF). Center for Negro League Baseball Research. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Bankes 2004, p. 66.
  16. ^ a b Freedman 2007, p. 22.
  17. ^ Brennan, Gerald (2011). "Josh Gibson - Chronology, Career Statistics, Related Biography: Manager Judy Johnson, Awards And Accomplishments, Further Information". JRank.org. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  18. ^ Bankes 2004, p. 67.
  19. ^ Mckeena, Brian (June 2, 2017). "Gus Greenlee". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  20. ^ a b Billus 2002, p. 73.
  21. ^ "Pittsburgh Crawfords". Kansas State University. 2006. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  22. ^ a b Harvin, Al (June 17, 1989). "Judy Johnson, a Star 3d Baseman In the Negro Leagues, Dies at 89". New York Times. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  23. ^ a b c d e Freedman 2004, p. 24.
  24. ^ a b c d "Judy Johnson". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  25. ^ Whirty, Ryan (June 11, 2014). "If Judy (Johnson) were only white, he could name his own price". Philly.com. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  26. ^ Brown, Rubin (April 20, 2015). "Delaware Backstory: Honoring Hall of Famer Judy Johnson". Delaware Online. Retrieved November 18, 2017.

Bibliography

  • Bak, Richard (1994). Turkey Stearnes and the Detroit Stars: The Negro Leagues in Detroit, 1919-1933. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-2582-3.
  • Bankes, Jim (2004). The Pittsburgh Crawfords. McFarland Publishing. ISBN 0-7864-0992-4.
  • Billus, Kathleen (2002). Judy Johnson. Rosen Publishing. ISBN 0-8239-3476-4.
  • Freedman, Lew (2007). African American Pioneers of Baseball: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-313-33851-9.

External links

1924 Colored World Series

The 1924 Colored World Series was a best-of-nine match-up between the Negro National League champion Kansas City Monarchs and the Eastern Colored League champion Hilldale. In a ten-game series, the Monarchs narrowly defeated Hilldale 5 games to 4, with one tie game. It was the first World Series between the respective champions of the NNL and ECL. It was the second year of existence for the ECL, but no agreement could be reached in 1923 for a post-season series, owing primarily to unresolved disputes between the leagues. Five members of the Baseball Hall of Fame participated in the series: Biz Mackey, Judy Johnson, and Louis Santop played for Hilldale, while Bullet Rogan and José Méndez played for the Monarchs. In addition, Monarchs owner J. L. Wilkinson was also inducted into the Hall.

1925 Colored World Series

The 1925 Colored World Series was the second edition of the championship series in Negro league baseball. The series featured a rematch between the Hilldale Club of Darby, Pennsylvania, champion of the Eastern Colored League (ECL), and the Kansas City Monarchs, champion of the Negro National League (NNL) and winner of the previous year's match in the first Colored World Series. In 1925, Hilldale won the best-of-nine series, five games to one.On the eve of the series, the Monarchs' star pitcher, Bullet Rogan, who had pitched a shutout in the deciding Game 7 of the NNL championship series, was injured while playing with his child at home, when a needle ran into his leg, leaving him unable to play in the World Series. Kansas City's manager and occasional pitcher was future Hall of Famer, 38-year-old José Méndez. Hilldale featured three future Hall of Famers—catcher, Biz Mackey, third baseman, Judy Johnson, and 35-year-old backup catcher and pinch hitter, Louis Santop.Attendance for series was disappointing—down more than 50 percent in comparison with the previous year's series. The financial results were so disappointing that one Kansas City Monarchs player said they would have been paid better barnstorming than playing in the series.For both teams, the 1925 season would represent the end to a three-year run as league champions. (Both teams had won their league championships in 1923, when no world series was played.) Kansas City would eventually return to win additional championships, appearing in the 1942 and 1946 series and winning in 1942. For Hilldale, however, the 1925 championship would be its last, as the team folded in 1932.

1975 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1975 followed the system in place since 1971.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Ralph Kiner.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected three people: Earl Averill, Bucky Harris, and Billy Herman.

The Negro Leagues Committee also met in person and selected Judy Johnson.

Daniel S. Frawley Stadium

Daniel S. Frawley Stadium is a stadium in Wilmington, Delaware. It is primarily used for baseball, and is the home field of the Wilmington Blue Rocks minor league baseball team. The park was originally known as Legends Stadium when it was built in 1993. It was renamed in 1994 for Wilmington mayor Daniel S. Frawley, who had pushed for a return of the Blue Rocks. The field is named separately for Judy Johnson, a local Negro league baseball star.

Detroit Wolves

The Detroit Wolves were a Negro league baseball club that played for the 1932 season only.

Greg McLaren

Greg McLaren (born 1967) is an Australian poet. Born in the New South Wales Hunter Region coalfields town, Kurri Kurri. He moved to Sydney in 1990 where he studied at the University of Sydney and in 2005 he was awarded a PhD in Australian Literature. His thesis was on Buddhist influences on the Australian poets Harold Stewart, Robert Gray and Judith Beveridge. As well as poetry, he has published reviews and criticism. Julieanne Lamond writes in Southerly that "McLaren attempts to find a stable connection between the Buddhist acceptance in the face of unknowing ... and the anger and drama of his sense of history".

McLaren's work has been anthologised almost widely. His poems appear in Noel Rowe and Vivian Smith's Windchimes: Asia in Australian Poetry (Pandanus Press, 2006), Australian Poetry from 1788 (edited by Robert Gray and Geoffrey Lehmann), A Slow Combusting Hymn (edited by Kit Kelen and Jean Kent) and Contemporary Australian Poetry (edited by Martin Langford, Judith Beveridge, Judy Johnson and David Musgrave).

Hilldale Club

The Hilldale Athletic Club (informally known as Darby Daisies) were an African American professional baseball team based in Darby, Pennsylvania, west of Philadelphia.

Established as a boys team in 1910, the Hilldales were developed by their early manager, then owner Ed Bolden to be one of the powerhouse Negro league baseball teams. They won the first three Eastern Colored League pennants beginning in 1923 and in 1925 won the second Colored World Series. Hall of Fame player Judy Johnson was a Hilldale regular for most its professional era with twelve seasons in fifteen years 1918–1932.

Pitcher Phil Cockrell played for Hilldale throughout those years.

Oscar Charleston, Biz Mackey, Louis Santop, Chaney White, and Jesse "Nip" Winters were also important Hilldale players in the 1920s.

How Little We Know

"How Little We Know" is a song written by written by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer for the 1944 film To Have and Have Not, where it is performed by the character "Slim" played by Lauren Bacall. A young Andy Williams recorded the song for the film as a possible alternative track to dub Bacall's low voice. Bacall said they used her singing. After the film's release it was a hit recording sung by Judy Johnson.

It has been covered periodically, most recently in 1999 by Michael Feinstein with the Maynard Ferguson Big Band for the album Big City Rhythms.

This song should not be confused with the Carolyn Leigh/Phillip Springer composition "(How Little It Matters) How Little We Know", which was first recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1956.

Judge for Yourself

Judge for Yourself, at first subtitled The Fred Allen Show, is a Mark Goodson and Bill Todman nontraditional court show/quiz show, with comedian Fred Allen as the emcee. It aired on NBC from August 18, 1953, to May 11, 1954. Don Pardo was the show's announcer, with Dennis James doing plugs for primary sponsor Old Gold.Each week three performers – singers, dancers, musicians, or comedians – were judged by two panels, one of professional entertainers and the other from the studio audience. If one of the amateur judges rated the acts 1, 2, or 3 in the same order as the celebrities, that individual would win a $1,000 prize. Two instrumental jazz groups that appeared on Judge for Yourself had considerable success thereafter, vibraphonist Terry Gibbs and the Marian McPartland Trio.The original intent of the series was to allow Allen to interact with guests, much as Groucho Marx did on his own NBC series, You Bet Your Life. The complicated format first employed, however, was revamped in the middle of the season. On the episode which aired on January 5, 1954, the professional judges were dropped, and the studio audience panel rated new songs to predict future hits, the comparable format of ABC's Jukebox Jury, which also aired in the 1953–54 season.The songs were performed by a regular cast of Bob Carroll, the Skylarks, Kitty Kallen (two episodes), and Judy Johnson. The winning judge of the songs was selected on the basis of applause meter voting by the studio audience, a format also adopted thereafter on the NBC/ABC daytime reality show, Queen for a Day, hosted by Jack Bailey.Judge for Yourself aired at 10 p.m. EST on Tuesdays, opposite The United States Steel Hour, then on ABC. It followed The Armstrong Circle Theatre. After Judge for Yourself folded, Allen appeared for the last two years of his life from 1954 to 1956 on What's My Line, a long-running CBS game show in which a celebrity panel try to determine the occupation of contestants through yes-or-no questions, as well as identify (while blindfolded) the mystery guest (a celebrity of note).

Judy Johnson (singer)

Judy Johnson (born March 8, 1928 in Norfolk, Virginia, USA) is an American pop singer most notable for her regular appearances on the NBC television series Your Show of Shows in the 1950s. She was married to composer and conductor Mort Lindsey.

In the early 1940s, Johnson sang with the Les Brown Orchestra under the name Betty Bonney. Her biggest hit was "How Little We Know", written by Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer for the character played by Lauren Bacall in the film To Have and Have Not.

Most of the kinescopes of Your Show of Shows were discarded by NBC, so few video appearances of Johnson remain. In one remaining film clip Johnson sings a cover of the Four Lads song "No, Not Much!". Her last television singing appearance was on The Arthur Murray Party in 1959.

Marjorie Hughes

Marjorie Hughes (born Marjorie Carle, December 15, 1925) is a former singer; she was a singer in the Frankie Carle Orchestra. She was also Frankie Carle's daughter. After singers Betty Bonney (aka Judy Johnson) and Phyllis Lynne had come and gone, Carle was auditioning new female singers - some in person, and some by means of demo records. Carle's wife sneaked in a demo of Carle's daughter recorded from a radio program. She was singing with the Paul Martin band in her first singing job. Carle liked the singer he heard on the demo, at first unaware that it was his daughter. When he decided to give his daughter a chance with his band, Carle changed his daughter's name to Marjorie Hughes, so that the public wouldn't know she was his daughter until he could be certain she'd make the grade. The band made a hit recording with Marjorie Hughes on the vocal, entitled "Oh, What It Seemed To Be." With the success of that song, Walter Winchell announced that Marjorie Hughes was actually Frankie Carle's daughter.Hughes stopped singing with the Carle orchestra in 1948 "because of illness." By 1950, she was "concentrating on television and radio on the west coast."

Marshallton, Delaware

Marshallton is an unincorporated community in Mill Creek Hundred, New Castle County, Delaware, United States. The community was founded in 1836 and is named for John Marshall, mill owner.

McMartin preschool trial

The McMartin preschool trial was a day care sexual abuse case in the 1980s, prosecuted by the Los Angeles District Attorney Ira Reiner. Members of the McMartin family, who operated a preschool in Manhattan Beach, California, were charged with numerous acts of sexual abuse of children in their care. Accusations were made in 1983. Arrests and the pretrial investigation ran from 1984 to 1987, and the trial ran from 1987 to 1990. After six years of criminal trials, no convictions were obtained, and all charges were dropped in 1990. When the trial ended in 1990, it had been the longest and most expensive criminal trial in American history. The case was part of day-care sex-abuse hysteria, a moral panic over alleged Satanic ritual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Mort Lindsey

Mort Lindsey, (born Morton Lippman; March 21, 1923, Newark, New Jersey – May 4, 2012, Malibu, California), was an orchestrator, composer, pianist, conductor and musical director for Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Pat Boone, Jack Narz, and Merv Griffin.He attended Newark Arts High School. He served stateside as a lieutenant in the Army Air Forces during World War II, and received a bachelor's degree from Columbia College and a master's from Columbia University in the 1940s. He later returned to Columbia University, earning a doctoral degree in music education in 1974.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Mort Lindsey was part of a trio called the Playboys with jazz guitarist Johnny Smith and organist Arlo Hults at NBC.In 1956 he is credited with composing the song Rock 'N' Roll Polka as recorded by John Serry Sr. (See Squeeze Play (album)).

Mort Lindsey was the musical director and conductor for Judy Garland's triumphant 1961 tour, including her legendary concert on April 23, 1961 at Carnegie Hall.

Lindsey was also a composer of motion picture scores including Gay Purr-ee (1962), 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962), I Could Go On Singing (1963), Stolen Hours (1963), The Best Man (1964), Real Life (1979) and Cats Don't Dance (1997) for which he composed the song "Tell Me Lies".

Lindsey served as musical director and bandleader of The Merv Griffin Show from 1962 to 1986 and composed the show's theme. In addition, he and Griffin composed the song "Changing Keys", which served as the theme to Griffin's game show Wheel of Fortune in several versions from 1983 until 2000.

In 1969, Mort won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Music as musical director for Barbra Streisand: A Happening in Central Park a concert attended by 135,000 people that aired as a music special on CBS in 1968.

In 1944, Mort married Betty Szold. They later divorced. In 1954, Mort married singer Judy Johnson, who went by the stage name Betty Bonney while touring with the Les Brown Orchestra. Their daughter Bonney was named for her alias. Mort had three sons, David Lippman and Steve Lindsey and another son Trevor; and three daughters, Deborah Morris and Judy Grant and Bonney Dunn.

Newt Allen

Newton Henry "Newt" Allen (May 19, 1901 – June 9, 1988) was an American second baseman and manager in baseball's Negro Leagues.

Born in Austin, Texas, he began his Negro League career late in 1922 with the Kansas City Monarchs and, except for brief stints with other teams in 1931 and 1932, stayed with the Monarchs until his retirement in 1948. Long known for his leadership ability, he became the Monarchs' manager in 1941 when Andy Cooper suffered a pre-season stroke and died during the season. He won the Negro American League championship that season, but resigned as manager just before the beginning of the following season, resuming his duties as a reserve infielder.

Allen's accomplishments as a player were even more impressive. A master at scoring runs, he bunted, stole bases and almost always provided the spark his team needed to win. Among the fastest baserunners of his generation of Negro Leaguers, his most remarkable season was his 1929 campaign, in which he batted .330 while hitting 24 doubles and stealing 23 bases in a typically abbreviated Negro League season.

Like the comparable Judy Johnson, he was a remarkable fielder, arguably the best fielding second baseman of any race from the 1920s through the 1940s, and was at his best in pressure situations. Unlike Johnson, Newt Allen is not in the Hall of Fame, although many experts regard him as having been superior to many white inductees. Allen did make the list of 39 finalists for the 2006 special Negro Leagues and Pre-Negro Leagues Election, but was not one of the 17 finally chosen.

Newt Allen is also listed on the second team of a 1952 Pittsburgh Courier Poll of the Greatest Black Players.Allen died at age 87 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Known statistics: .293 career batting average, 16 home runs, 640 games.

Oliver Marcell

Oliver Hazzard Marcelle (June 21, 1895 – June 12, 1949), nicknamed "Ghost", was an American third baseman in the Negro Leagues for a number of teams around the league from 1918-1931. He also played shortstop. A Creole born in Thibodaux, Louisiana, he batted and threw right-handed.

While the Negro Leagues had many statistics recorded in the 1920s, Marcelle put up outstanding numbers. In 1922 with the Bacharach Giants, he posted a .379 batting average. Again in 1924, he hit well, putting up a .352 average for Bacharach and the New York Lincoln Giants.

Although "Ghost" was a top-class hitting infielder, his defensive skills took center stage by comparison. He was considered by most to be the greatest fielding third basemen in the league throughout the 1920s and possibly of all time. Baseball Hall of Famer Judy Johnson once admitted that Marcelle was a better defensive player than himself. During that time, he and shortstop Dick Lundy made up one of the best left-side infields ever.

Marcelle was known for a terrible temper, with umpires and opponents commonly drawn into arguments with him, and even teammates sometimes fighting him. Marcelle once hit Oscar Charleston in the head with a bat. He participated in two Negro League World Series, both for the Bacharach Giants. He put up fairly good numbers during one of them (.293, six RBIs in 11 games). In the other, he posted a .235 average with 2 RBIs in 9 games. However, he did much better than that when he got his chance against white competition. He went 23-for-63, good for a .365 average, in 17 exhibition contests against white players. Marcelle was rated ahead of Hall of Famers Judy Johnson and Ray Dandridge in the renowned 1952 Pittsburgh Courier player-voted poll of the Negro Leagues' best players.

In a strange incident in the late 1920s, Marcelle's teammate Frank Warfield reportedly bit Marcelle's nose off after the two got into a fight, when both men were playing in the Cuban Winter League. Bill Yancey, another teammate of Marcelle's, said, "What got [Marcelle] out of baseball, he and [teammate] Frank Warfield had a fight in Cuba [probably in the winter of 1927-28, over a dice game] and Warfield bit his nose off. He was a proud, handsome guy, you know, and then he used to wear a black patch across his nose and he got so he couldn't play baseball anymore." Marcelle had been a staple of the Cuban Winter League throughout the decade. In the 1923-24 season, he batted .393 to lead the league. He ended with an overall .305 average in Cuba.

After some time with the Detroit Stars, Marcelle didn't play very much longer. His final career average was supposedly around .315 with 11 home runs. Marcelle died in poverty in 1949 in Denver, Colorado and was buried in an unmarked grave in Riverside Cemetery.At age 57, Marcelle got the most votes as best third baseman in the 1952 Pittsburgh Courier player-voted poll of the Negro leagues best players ever.42 years after his death, Oliver Marcelle’s last chapter was finally closed. At 10:30 a.m. on June 1, 1991, members of Riverside’s ownership, the Fairmount Cemetery Co., gathered with members of the Erickson Monument Co., the Black American West Museum, and the Denver Zephyrs, the Triple-A inheritors of, in part, Marcelle’s Denver baseball legacy, to honor The Ghost one final time. In the culmination of a long effort led by baseball historian and Denver-area resident Jay Sanford, there, weeks shy of what would have been the legend’s 94th birthday, they unveiled a simple grave marker.

Rap Dixon

Herbert Allen "Rap" Dixon (September 15, 1902 – July 20, 1944) was an American outfielder in Negro League baseball for a number of teams. He was born in Kingston, Georgia.

Although Dixon began playing in the league in 1922, he joined the semi-pro Keystone Giants in 1916 at the age of fourteen. Dixon was noticed for his quick and powerful bat by William Strothers, who was building up the independent Giants at the time.

When Dixon began playing for Strothers in the 1920s, the outfield for the Giants was one of the best of all time; Dixon, Oscar Charleston, and Fats Jenkins. The lineup, in its entirety, scored runs at a higher pace than the 1927 New York Yankees. Dixon had many weapons; speed, hitting, and power were all his strengths and he became known as a triple threat. In 1929, he batted .382 with seven home runs, and led the league with six triples.

Dixon was also notable for discovering the Baseball Hall of Famer Leon Day playing in the Baltimore sandlots.

In a doubleheader played on Saturday, July 5, 1930, Dixon helped make history at Yankee Stadium, which, for the first time ever, played host to two Negro League teams. With 20,000 in attendance, Dixon hit one home run in the opener, then two more in the nightcap to help Baltimore salvage a split with the Lincoln Giants.Dixon also was a teammate of such Hall of Fame greats as Satchel Paige and Judy Johnson when he was with the Pittsburgh Crawfords.

In later years, with the Black Sox, Rap played with his brother Dick and also with Day. Dixon was selected to the East-West All-Star Game in 1933. Also, in 26 games against white major leaguers, he compiled a .372 average.

The accomplished Negro League legend died at age 41 in Detroit, Michigan.

William Julius "Judy" Johnson House

William Julius "Judy" Johnson House is a historic home located at Marshallton, New Castle County, Delaware. It was built about 1925, and is a two-story, three bay, rectangular frame dwelling with a one-story front porch. It has a hipped and gable roof with dormer and is reflective of the American Craftsman style. Wavy asbestos siding was added to the home in 1939. Also on the property is a contributing two car garage. It was the home of Hall of Fame baseball player Judy Johnson (ca. 1900-1989), who played in the Negro Leagues between 1921 and 1937. Johnson purchased the home in 1934, and resided in it until shortly before his death.It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

Your Show of Shows

Your Show of Shows is a live 90-minute variety show that was broadcast weekly in the United States on NBC from February 25, 1950, through June 5, 1954, featuring Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca. Other featured performers were Carl Reiner, Howard Morris, Bill Hayes, baritone Jack Russell (singer), Judy Johnson, The Hamilton Trio and the soprano Marguerite Piazza. José Ferrer made several guest appearances on the series.

In 2002, Your Show of Shows was ranked #30 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. In 2013, it was ranked #37 on TV Guide's 60 Best Series of All Time.

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