Edwin R. Johnson, farmer and son of Hall of Fame baseball pitcher, dies at 94

Edwin R. Johnson, 94, a Montgomery County farmer who was the son of Walter Johnson, the Hall of Fame pitcher for the old Washington Senators, died Aug. 12 at his home, Breeze Hill Farm, near Dickerson. He had a blood infection, his daughter Nancy Rattie said.

Mr. Johnson was an excellent athlete in his youth, starring in baseball and basketball at the University of Maryland, but he preferred the quieter life of farming.

(Family Photo) - Edwin R. Johnson, 94, was a Montgomery County farmer and the son of Hall of Fame basball pitcher Walter Johnson.

He was a dairy farmer for more than 40 years and later raised beef cattle, as well as corn, hay and other crops. He continued farming until his death.

“The day before he died,” his daughter said, “he was shucking corn on the back porch.”

Edwin Roberts Johnson was born Sept. 7, 1917, in Washington, where his father was a star pitcher for the Senators from 1907 to 1927.

Walter Johnson led the Senators to their only World Series championship in 1924 and was one of five players elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in its inaugural class of 1936. Many baseball historians rank him as the greatest pitcher of all time. Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda is named for him.

Edwin Johnson, who was known as Eddie in his youth, graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. At the University of Maryland, he was president of the student government and was an all-conference basketball player and a three-year starter at shortstop on the baseball team. He received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture in 1939.

He played two years in the New York Yankees’ minor league system. After a leg injury in the early 1940s, Mr. Johnson began working on his father’s dairy farm in Germantown. Walter Johnson died in 1946.

Edwin Johnson sold real estate for several years before becoming a full-time farmer in 1955. He kept a low profile and seldom participated in events celebrating his father’s baseball career.

His wife of 61 years, Pauline Scott Johnson, died in 2002.

Survivors include four children, Edwin R. Johnson Jr. of Clarskburg, David Johnson of Barnesville, Elinor Sweeney of Hollywood, Md., and Nancy Rattie of Dickerson; a sister, Caroline Thomas of Washington; 11 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.