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Crystal Falls baseball star receives Hall of Fame support

August 31, 2013
By BURT ANGELI - Sports Writer , The Daily News

ScuttleBu(r)t ...

Vernon (Sock) Johnson has received a U.P. Hall of Fame endorsement from his first cousin.

Richard Johnson of Mesa, Ariz., called this week to verify the accomplishments - both good and bad habits - of the Crystal Falls baseball star who later played with Satchel Paige in North Dakota.

Johnson, mentioned frequently in Tom Dunkel's new book "Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball's Color Line," starred on the baseball diamond but drinking problems affected his career.

Richard Johnson heard stories about Vernon, including those from the woods.

"He was poetry in motion with an axe," said Richard, noting Vernon at age 50 or so could take two V-shaped swipes to fell a tree.

Richard couldn't be sure but his understanding was that Vernon made the New York Giants major league team but broke both legs sliding into a base during an exhibition game. That ended his big league hopes.

Check out this newspaper from Saturday, Aug. 17, or our Web site for a story on Vernon (Sock) Johnson. He's up for the U.P. Hall of Fame but has not received the necessary votes ...

Chant from Texas Christian students in the late 1990s when the football team struggled to find the endzone: "Two, four, six, eight, score before we graduate." ...

Ambitious volleyball schedule for the Calumet Copper Kings.

The Kingsford Invitational champions are also off to Cadillac, Ashwaubenon, Wis., and Duluth, Minn., for tournaments.

"It's exciting to play teams you've never seen, never scouted and know nothing about. It's a great opportunity to see how girls handle pressure and how they respond," Calumet coach Lisa Twardzik said ...

Tough blow for Iron Mountain's John Novara and his defending Division 5 state championship Portland team. Quarterback Tanner Allison is out with a season-ending shoulder injury.

Novara has turned out 10 straight winning seasons with the Lansing area program ...



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