Ron Johnson, longtime coach in the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals organizations, died Tuesday at age 64 because of complications related to COVID-19.
Johnson most recently served in the Orioles’ organization, where he managed the Triple-A Norfolk Tides from 2012-18. He came to the Orioles from the Red Sox, where he was the Pawtucket Red Sox’s manager from 2005-09 and Boston’s first base coach on Terry Francona’s staff from 2010-11.
The Royals offered Johnson his first coaching job, and he managed teams at the Single-A, Double-A and Triple-A levels for the organization during the 1990s. His managerial career spanned 25 seasons in the minor leagues, where he went 1,752-1,773 in 3,525 games, according to MLB.com.
As a player, Johnson had a brief big-league career, appearing in 22 games with the Royals and Montreal Expos from 1982-84. He hit .261 (12-for-46) with two doubles and two RBIs.
“RIP RJ. You were one of the coolest teammates I ever had,” longtime Royals pitcher Mark Gubicza tweeted. “Praying for Daphne and the entire family. Love you brother.”