Wade Johnston was the starting left fielder for the Detroit Stars from 1928-1931.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia.com)
In recent posts, I have integrated Detroit Stars players into the all-time Detroit major league position lists. The difficulties involved in ranking Negro League players are discussed in the Detroit Stars all-star team post. The complete list of position ranks is shown below:
This week, I am looking at left fielders. Before Negro League data was so conveniently available at Seamheads.com, I listed the top ten left fielders in Detroit Tigers history. The one Stars left fielder who warrants consideration on this list is Wade Johnston.
William Wade Johnston started out with the Cleveland Stars in 1921 and joined the Detroit Stars in 1928. He became their starting left fielder for four years batting .312 with a .392 on base percentage. He was small at five-foot-seven-inches tall and 142 pounds, but he had good power, In 1929, he finished third in the Negro National League in both homeruns (16) and OPS+ (173). He apparently had some patience as he led the league with 35 walks in just 200 plate appearances in 1931.
It is difficult to crack the list of Detroit Tigers left fielders, but Johnston fits at #10 in a long line of slugging Detroit outfielders. He barely bumps Hall of Famer Goose Goslin who spent four twilight years with the Tigers.
The rest of the list is shown below.