Ronald David Johnson (born March 23 1956 in Long Beach, California) is the current manager of the Pawtucket Red Sox in minor league baseball, having led the team since 2005. He guided them to a 2nd-place finish in the North Division of the International League. Johnson was a first baseman for the Kansas City Royals and Montreal Expos in his brief major league career from 1982-84, wearing the number '35'.
When in high school, Johnson turned down football scholarships to UCLA and Fresno State to instead play baseball. Johnson was originally drafted by the California Angels in the 13th round of the 1976 June amateur draft, but did not sign. The Fresno State graduate was a first-team All-American selection in 1978 before being drafted by Kansas City in the 24th round, the 595th overall pick. He made his major league debut with the Royals on September 12, 1982. On December 15, 1983, he was traded by Royals to the Expos for Tom Dixon. Shortly after his playing days ended, he became a coach in the Royals minor league system for six years.
Ron Johnson made his managerial debut with the Baseball City Royals (A) of the Florida State League in 1992. In 1995 he won Texas League Manager of the Year honors after guiding the Wichita Wranglers (AA) to the Texas League playoffs. In 1998 he reached Triple-A with the Omaha Royals and in 1999 he led that club to a 1st-place finish in the Pacific Coast League. Johnson posted six winning seasons in his eight years managing in the Royals organization.
Johnson joined the Boston Red Sox organization in 2000 as manager of the Sarasota Red Sox (A) of the Florida State League. Among his players during his two years with the SaraSox were pitchers Casey Fossum, Josh Hancock, Chris Reitsma, and Anastacio Martinez along with players such as Freddy Sanchez and Justin Sherrod.
In 2002 Johnson was promoted to Double-A as manager of the Trenton Thunder of the Eastern League. When the Red Sox switched Double-A affiliations to the Portland Sea Dogs in 2003, he moved with them and was manager of the Sea Dogs for the next two seasons. His 2003 club went 72-70 and missed the Eastern League playoffs by just a game and a half. Standouts on that 2003 squad were third baseman Kevin Youkilis, catcher Kelly Shoppach, and pitcher Tim Kester.
In 2004, Johnson once again had Portland near .500 for much of the year before finishing at 69-73 and in a tie for 4th-place in the Eastern League Northern Division. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez, infielder Kenny Perez, and pitcher Abe Alvarez all had terrific seasons under Johnson.
Johnson now lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife Daphne and five children. His son Chris was drafted in the 37th round by the Red Sox in June of 2003 but instead opted for college.
- Baseball-Reference.com - Major league career statistics
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