Walter Johnson - 1907 Los Angeles article

This article appeared on page VIII-4 in the 21 Jul 1907 edition of the Los Angeles Times:



Orange County Lad Promises to Make National Reputation in Baseball With Washington American League Team -- Friends Watch His Career With Interest.

FULERTON, [sic] July 20. -- Walter Johnson, a native of Allen county, Kans., who has resided with his parents at the Olinda oil wells at Fullerton for five years, has a record as a twirler that is without parallel in baseball history. He recently signed a contract to pitch for the American League team at Washington, D. C., and will leave Spokane for that city tomorrow.

Johnson opened the season with the Weiser team of the Idaho State League, south of Spokane, and up to June 30 pitched seventy-five innings without a hit being scored against him. He struck out 166 men in ninety-nine innings, pitched seven consecutive shut-out games, and played in games in which his team scored ninety-eight runs to his opponents' five. He is credited with striking out eighteen men in each of several games and in one game retired the first eight men to face him, while eleven others also fell before him. While playing with the Olinda team of Fullerton he also pitched forty-nine innings without a run being scored by the opposing team.

Young Johnson is a modest lad. He goes about the work on the diamond in a business-like way, and is good-natured throughout, never questioning the decisions of the man with the indicator. He has faith in himself, and, with headwork, he has more than made good in a State League composed of fast and heady players, brought out from the leading baseball centers of the East. Veterans who have watched his playing since the season opened say the coming year will see the young man at the head of the pitching ranks in the big league.

Johnson is only 19 years of age, and, as stated, is a native of Kansas, and not of California, as has been published in many papers. During his residence here he made hundreds of friends in Orange county, where he is well known and well liked.

The statistics given in this article should be taken with a grain of salt! Walter's accomplishments at Weiser were embellished heavily in all newspaper stories appearing outside of Idaho. Even so, it did state correctly, and emphatically, Johnson's birthplace and residence information. The article is also noteworthy for being the first mention in the press of any aspects of Walter's life beyond his ballplaying.

This page was last updated 4 Jun 2005.