Ray Johnson


Raymond Johnson began his softball career with the Flamingoes in 1961 when he was fifteen. He played third base with them in the Daddy- O-Daylie League at Meyerling

Park, under the tutelage of John Wolf-Wilson. Besides finding great success in this league, the Flamingoes also finished in the top three in

the Sixteen-inch World Series in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1969.

The Flamingoes also played in the Industrial League as the Coca Cola Flamingoes. They won the league championship at Grant Park from 1966 to 1970.
Ray left the Flamingoes in 1970 to form the Senators in 1971. This team featured Hall of Fame players Jessie Mack, Henry Kemp, Riccardo Ligon (aka Rick Monday), Willie Kemp, and Henry Currie. They were coached by Hall of Fame manager Floyd Glover.

The Senators (sponsored by Alderman Wilson Frost) played in leagues at Kelly Park, Blue Island, Clarendon Park, Mount Prospect, and in the Windy City League. They battled such legendary teams as the Bobcats

and Eddie Zolna (HOF), the Sobies and Tony Reibel (HOF), and the Strikers and Mike Tallo (HOF). They were also known as the Kuppenheimer Senators. They won the Industrial Metro Tournament in 1975 and earned a trip to Marshalltown, Iowa.

The rivalry between the Flamingoes and the Senators was always a highly anticipated rivalry, drawing over a thousand fans. Ray left the Senators in 1983 to form the Bandits. In 1985 they won the Metro Tournament

and qualified for the World Series In Marshalltown, Iowa in 1985.

Ray played all infield positions as well as catcher. He was MVP of the Sunday Cocktail League

and the 75th and Jeffery League. He also was selected as the MVP of the Flamingoes, Senators, and Bandits.

Ray ended his playing career at the end of 1985 and began umpiring in 1986. In 2008 he was inducted into the NSA Hall of Fame as an umpire. He is currently on the Hall of Fame committee for the NSA and is an assignor for the Chicago Public Schools and USSSA / UIC.

Ray has been married twice. He has five children – Letitia, LaTonya, La Shawn, Andrew III, and Raymond II. He is a grandfather of fourteen and a great – great grandfather of ten. He retired from Met-Life Insurance after a thirty-five year career as Manager of the Financial Planning Division. He currently lives in Alsip, Illinois.