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Johnny Taylor

 

Date and Place of Birth: April 29, 1916 Dallas, TX
Date and Place of Death:    July 26, 1944 Guam
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Third Base
Rank: Corporal
Military Unit: Company E, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Marines, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade US Marine Corps
Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations

Johnny P. Taylor was a third baseman with an outstanding arm. He was born on April 29, 1916 in Dallas, Texas, and attended North Dallas High School, fine-tuning his baseball skills on the sandlots of the city before signing with the Lubbock Hubbers of the newly formed Class D West Texas-New Mexico League in 1938.

Taylor batted .312 in 124 games his rookie year with 14 home runs and 94 RBIs, but it was his throwing antics that one young fan remembered. "Johnny played third base and was known for his strong arm," recalled Bill Cope of Lubbock, who was 12 years old at the time. "There was a contest that was staged to see who had the strongest arm and players lined up in centerfield and threw toward home plate. When it was Johnny's turn he threw a ball that went clear past home plate and hit the top of the grandstand. He was kidded considerably about his lack of accuracy!" [1]

The following year Taylor batted .308 with 12 home runs and 114 RBIs with the Hubbers, as the team clinched the league title and went on to defeat Pampa, four games to one, in the playoff finals. At the end of the year most of the Hubbers of the 1939 championship team were released and despite Taylor's great numbers he did not play regularly with another club the following year, having brief spells with the Longview Texans of the Class C East Texas League and the Waterloo Hawks of the Class B Three-I League. In 1941, Taylor was back in Organized Baseball with the El Dorado Oilers of the Class C Cotton States League, and in 126 games he batted .295 with 15 home runs and 67 RBIs.

Taylor joined the Marines after the 1941 season and served in the Pacific as a corporal with the 22nd Marines. On July 21, 1944, they landed at Guam and faced Japanese counter-attacks throughout the first few days. On July 26, as they attacked against more than 2,000 enemy troops entrenched in dugouts and pillboxes, Corporal Taylor was killed in action. He was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii, and his name is inscribed on the Asan War Memorial on Guam.

 

Team

League

Class

G

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

AVG

1938 Lubbock W. Texas-New Mexico D 124 529 125 165 39 11 14 94 .312
1939 Lubbock W. Texas-New Mexico D 140 522 108 161 35 9 12 114 .308
1940 Longview East Texas C - - - - - - - - -
1940 Waterloo Three-I B - - - - - - - - -
1941 El Dorado Cotton States C 126 518 85 153 21 8 15 67 .295

 

Notes
1. Correspondence with Bill Cope, 2007.

Thanks to Bill Cope and Davis O. Barker for help with this biography.

Date Added May 6, 2012 Updated July 21, 2016

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