Richard ‘Lion Heart’ Johnson gets third induction

As of Friday, February 17, 2023


#Senior Sports Reporter

#LONG after he’s retired from playing, Richard ‘the Lion-Heart’ Johnson is still receiving the awards of his accomplishments as a pitcher, both locally and internationally.

#After being inducted into the International Softball Federation’s Hall of Fame in 2007 and the Bahamas Softball Federation’s Hall of Fame in 2009, Johnson was invited back to Houston, Texas on January 28 when he was enshrined into the Fast Pitch Legends Hall of Fame of the Greater Houston Area.

#Johnson’s latest accolades came from his participation in the league from 1986 to 1988 with the Houston Flyers. He remembers vividly how they played in the ISC World Championships where they lost 1-0 as they got eliminated from making it to the final.

#James Ward, the president of the Houston Softball League, was honouring persons who made their contributions to softball, and he included Johnson in this year’s enshrinement.

#“Every year they have an induction thing, and I just went over there to be with him and the next thing I know he told me that I was being inducted,” Johnson said.

#“I am happy, I am honoured, and I am surprised that they even thought about me in that light.

#“But I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed my time playing with them. We played with some semi-pros. The shortstop actually played Triple A in baseball. He played shortstop, but he was giving signs to the outfielders from short. I learned a lot of things playing with them.”

#Now retired as a long-time banker and former heralded pitcher for the perennial kingpins Budweiser Eagles in the New Providence Softball Association and was the mainstay for about two decades on the Bahamas men’s national team, Johnson said he’s appreciative of this latest honour just as he was of the previous two.

#Johnson is best remembered for pitching all 19 innings of a 2-1 victory for the Bahamas over New Zealand at the 1980 ISF Men’s World Championships.

#He also struck out 12 batters in a no-hitter in nine innings over Mexico for the bronze medal for the Bahamas.

#The 65-year-old Eleuthera native is now basking in his glory at home and enjoying life to the fullest.

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