A look back at the original teen baseball sensation in DC–Walter “The Big Train” Johnson.

Ghosts of DC

Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg and now Bryce Harper. We have had some serious players groomed in the Nationals organization over the last several years. I love these guys, but none of them compare to the granddaddy of them all … the Big Train himself, Mt. Pleasant resident (1843 Irving St. NW), Walter Perry Johnson.

The modern debut of Washington superstars all came as the team was average, to well below average in the standings. The Big Train’s arrival was very much under the same circumstances, to a team desperately in need of assistance. Walter was just a teenager from Kansas, having been discovered in the Idaho State League just a month earlier. He was simultaneously working as a telephone company employee (not where we found Strasburg).

Reports from the Gem State were epic for the soft-spoken, yet confident, phenom. A special report came into the Post on June…

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