Born on November 11, 1928 in Clinton, Mississippi, Ernest (Ernie) Johnson first started as a right handed pitcher in his four years (1949 – 1953) with the Kansas City Monarchs. But the 6’3” and 180 pounds hurler, a left handed batter, was such a good hitter he played mostly in the outfield beginning in 1950.
In 1953 he was selected to play in the Negro League East-West All Star Game as an outfielder. By that time the Negro American League consisted of only four teams. Johnson’s West All Star squad, players selected from the Kansas City Monarchs and Memphis Red Sox, defeated the East All Star squad, players selected from the Indianapolis Clowns and Birmingham Black Barons, 5 – 1. Johnson knocked in two of his squad’s runs with a single.
He was signed as an outfielder to play in the Major Leagues. From 1954 – 1959 Johnson played in the minor league systems of three Major League teams; the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and Baltimore Orioles. The highest minor league level he played was Class AA, two years in the South Atlantic League (Sally League).
Who was Ernest Johnson’s Monarch teammate that signed with the Chicago Cubs shortly after the 1953 East-West All Star Game?