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Braves announcer Ernie Johnson dies at age 87

Aug 12, 2011, 10:31 PM EST

Ernie Johnson Sr. AP

Ernie Johnson Sr., a former major league pitcher better known for his long tenure in the broadcast booth with the Braves, passed away Friday night at age 87.

Johnson went 40-23 in a nine-year major league career spent mostly with the Boston and Milwaukee Braves.  Primarily a middle reliever before such a role got much attention, he finished his career with 19 saves and a 3.77 ERA.  He had his best year in 1953, the Braves’ first in Milwaukee, went he amassed a 2.67 ERA in 81 innings.  He  followed that up with a 2.81 ERA in 99 1/3 innings in 1954.  Also, he allowed one run over seven innings in the Braves’ 1957 World Series victory over the Yankees.

But it was his second career for which he’ll long be remembered.  Johnson worked with the Braves from 1962-99, doing both play-by-play and color.  Even after his retirement, he spent at least one series in the Atlanta booth in each of the next several seasons.  He worked with his son, Ernie Johnson Jr., in the SportSouth booth from 1993-96, and the Braves inducted him into their Hall of Fame in 2001.

  1. stinkfingers - Aug 12, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    RIP Ernie. You will be missed.

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 12, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    I came to love the Braves with him and Skip. Good travels, professor.

    • hcf95688 - Aug 13, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      I thought The Professor was Pete Van Wieren?

      • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 13, 2011 at 5:18 PM

        Oh yeah. Long time ago. Oh well. Good travels to Ernie too.

  3. hittfamily - Aug 12, 2011 at 11:56 PM

    I grew up listening to him, Don, Skip, and Pete. The Radio and TV broadcasters would swap in the fifth inning of every game. Good luck on your next endeavore Ernie.

  4. Walk - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Good bye, sir. My condolences to the family, my prayers are with you.

  5. nlfan865 - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    I was in the Army and came in from out of town and met my father and older brother for a weekend series on saturday sept 2 1989…which just happened to be Ernie Johnson Night….he was retirering from the everday announcers job…they had quite the pregame festivities to honor him and we witnessed Harry Carey leaning out of the booth during the 7th Inning to lead the staduim in his first ever rendition of Take Me out to the Ballbark at an away stadium as a tribute to his friend…the braves lost the game to the cubs 10-3. The Cubs winning pitcher was their new phenom Greg Maddux…i moved to atlanta permenately in the summer of 1990 at the end of their losing era….I still have a copy of the Video he narrated after the 91 worst to first season….what great memories i have of him even though late in his career…He will be missed but definately will be remembered

  6. sknut - Aug 13, 2011 at 1:11 AM

    He had a nice smooth natural voice that made listening easy. I watched the Braves on TBS and they weren’t very good yet Ernie made the games interesting. RIP Ernie.

  7. spudchukar - Aug 13, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Great TBS memories. He was great balance for Skip and Don. Another great one gone. RIP.

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