Billy "Sweet" Johnson
With the nickname of “Sweet” this right-handed hitter was considered to be the greatest all-around black softball player of all time. A right handed hitter who played most of his great years with the Flamingos, Johnson was a lightning fast 225 pound ball player with an arm like a rocket launcher but with a fine touch to turn an inning ending double-play. Johnson’s 16-inch career began at the age of 11 with the Princeton Pirates, the “farm team” of the Flamingos. He credits the Pirates and the Flamingos with getting him off the tough streets of Chicago’s Southside. In 1974 Johnson won the ASA National batting title and was selected to the Ist Team All-American team, hitting over .600 in Dalton, GA while leading his team to a third place finish. Johnson continued his dominance of Chicago softball when he was selected as the Windy City All-Star 2nd baseman, hitting .533, which was the fifth best average in the league. After a series of knee injuries caused by collisions with teammates in the outfield, Johnson switched from being a power hitter to being a more complete hitter who could “hit smart”, a talent gained from observing some of the top players in the top leagues of the city and suburbs.
“Sweetman” Johnson graduated from DuSable High School and Wilson Junior College where he played football and basketball. Billy lives in Chicago.