BOSTON (CBS) — Former Red Sox first base coach and Pawtucket Red Sox manager Ron Johnson has died from complications from COVID-19, his family told the Virginian-Pilot on Tuesday. Johnson was 64.
A former Major League first baseman, Johnson had a lengthy managerial career in the minors. He racked up a 1,752-1,770 career record over 24 seasons in the minors, serving as skipper of the Norfolk Tides (2012-18), the PawSox (2005-09), the Omaha Golden Spikes (1999) and the Omaha Royals (1998). He was the winningest manager in Tides history with 491 wins, earning Manager of the Year honors in 2015.READ MORE: 1 Dead, Several Others Injured In Multi-Car Crash On I-93 In Canton
Johnson spent 12 years in the Red Sox organization, joining the franchise in 2000 when he took over as manager of the Class A Sarasota Red Sox. He was promoted to manager of the Double-A Trenton Thunder in 2002, and then managed the Portland Sea Dogs for two seasons starting in 2003 when the Red Sox switched Double-A affiliates. In Portland, he helped develop future MLB stars like Hanley Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis.
Johnson took over the Pawtucket Red Sox in 2005, and amassed a 357-359 record in his five seasons on the bench, leading the PawSox to one postseason berth. He was promoted to Red Sox first base coach in 2009 under then-manager Terry Francona, a position he held for two season.
“We were devastated to learn of the passing of our friend and former colleague, Ron Johnson,” said Red Sox General Manager Brian O’Halloran. “RJ was instrumental in helping countless Red Sox players reach and succeed in the big leagues, and was an important contributor to two World Series championships. His kindness, sense of humor, love of family, and passion for the game of baseball stood out among many wonderful qualities. We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to RJ’s wife, Daphne, his five children, and the many people inside and outside the game of baseball who loved him.”
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Ron Johnson was as affable, jovial, and positive a baseball man as you could imagine.READ MORE: Rally Held In Boston For George Floyd As Derek Chauvin Trial Begins Next Week
With both the Pawtucket Red Sox and Boston Red Sox, his knowledge and personality contributed to this era of championships.
Rest In Peace, RJ. A wonderful man, and a champion of baseball. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/OcjmRD22Qo
— PawSox (@PawSox) January 26, 2021
Johnson is survived by his wife, Daphne, and their five children: Savannah, Cheyanne, Bridget, Christopher, and Christian.