BOSTON (WPRI) — Ron Johnson, the former manager of the Pawtucket Red Sox and a former first base coach for the Boston Red Sox, died Tuesday due to complications from COVID-19, according to Minor League Baseball (MiLB).
Johnson joined the Red Sox organization in 2000 as a team manager for their Single-A affiliate, the Sarasota Reds. He quickly climbed the minor league ladder within the organization and, in 2005, was named the manager for the Triple-A PawSox.
To many, Johnson was known as “RJ” and, in a statement from the team, the PawSox called him “a wonderful man and a champion of baseball.”
After four years at the helm in Pawtucket, Johnson became Boston’s first base coach in 2010.
“RJ was instrumental in helping countless Red Sox players reach and succeed in the big leagues, and was an important contributor to two World Series championships,” Red Sox GM Brian O’Halloran said. “His kindness, sense of humor, love of family and passion for the game of baseball stood out among many wonderful qualities.”
After spending 12 years with the organization, he went on to manage the Baltimore Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate the Norfolk Tides in 2012. During that time, he became the winningest manager in the team’s history with 491 wins.
Johnson leaves behind his wife, Daphne, and their five children: Savannah, Cheyanne, Bridget, Christopher, and Christian.