Ryan Johnson takes us back in baseball to 1994-1995

I remember Ryan Johnson from his days playing hoops at the old downtown YMCA. Here’s what he has to say about Palomino baseball and other baseball memories from back in the day. By the way, his dad, Ron Johnson was a hard-working, solid influence for Ryan as well, but here is what RJ had to say about baseball back in the day…………

I will say the same thing as I have said other places. Alan Ashkinazy is the best coach I ever had- he taught his kids how to win, but also how to win with class. He picked the right mix of players and put them in the right places. I have nothing but great things to say, on and off the field. Al always did things the right way. You learn alot about a person by watching them make decisions and handle situations, especially off the field or in the dugout when no one (i.e. parents and fans) are watching. He was a great coach and a great role model for how to make tough decisions and stick by them, while being as fair as possible to everyone.

As far as the ’94 and ’95 APWU teams… they were phenomenal. Yes, I am a little biased. The strength in those two World Series’ was amazing. Our ’95 team, in my opinion, was better than the ’94 Championship team, but faced stronger competition. As I recall there were a TON of draft picks out of those series’– some of what I recall is that (I could be wrong on this) San Diego had a lefty named Barry Zito, who we chased from the game. East Cobb had a SHORTSTOP named Michael Barrett. I think Cole Liniak was also drafted high by the Red Sox and made it to the bigs with the Cubs. No hall of famers in the crowd, but certainly very strong teams with alot of balance and a bunch of top 10 draft picks. I will never forget those experiences, and even today I wish I could go back there and do it again.

Going a little further back in time… the ones that Greensboro also should have won…

1993 Colt World Series- some strange coaching went on in this series. It is all water under the bridge now(obviously) but we had too many people out of position and not enough team familiarity. One of those where we were playing people with “potential” but that had hit about .229 for the year. I will leave out the names…

1991 Pony East Zone tournament- Woonsocket, RI. You all may remember this. It was quite a fiasco. We were eliminated by a team from Chambersburg, PA by a pitcher later found to be illegal. Brooklyn, NY ended up winning by forfeit after we had gone home. Not much you can do about it on the bus. His name was Greg Riley. I will never forget it because he was the hardest thrower I ever remember. There are always kids at each level that dominate. From the 52′ mound you really couldn’t get the bat off your shoulder. Some of you may also remember Bill Flippin (Eastern Guilford). Same deal. At that age level those guys were the hardest throwers I remember.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but it makes me reminisce a little.

Ryan Johnson (Page ’94, APWU ’94 and 95)


  1. THANKS FOR THE KIND WORDS RYAN. Ryan worked so hard at his game and was so talented. That 1994 Championship Team made it so easy to coach. They would all run through a wall for you. I worked on Ryan’s hitting since he was about 8 years old and he took what he learned and DID IT on the field. He was also the best defensive 1st baseman around! Hopefully this thread will bring out the BOYS OF 1994 SUMMER!

  2. It wasnt hard to run through a wall for you bud. Those were great memories that will never be forgotten!

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