It was a special weekend off Lakeland Drive. Murrah and Jim Hill took the field for more than just summer ball. The reason why they played was to honor Mustang great Michael Johnson.
Baseball was one of many passions for Mustang great Michael D. Johnson. His family and friends are making sure his legacy continues. Saturday was the 8th annual 5K along with the 2nd MDJ Classic.
Adding a ballgame "seals the deal. It really seals the deal," said Michael's father Emmett Johnson. "That makes the foundation more admirable to me. Mike meant a whole lot to me. We did a lot of things together. He played a lot of ball and we traveled together. We stayed out of town days and days at a time. When I go to a ballgame or when I watch one on TV, you know it just brings memories back about him, you know?"
Johnson signed with Co-Lin baseball after a stellar career as a Mustang. His tragic death in 2005 cut a diamond dream short. ESPN 105.9 The Zone personality Jon Wiener has countless memories of his friend and teammate.
"He was the star point guard on Murrah's state basketball championship team in 2005," Wiener said. "But as a guy as a leadoff hitter was the heart and soul of your team. We played all over the country. We played in Texas, we played in Washington, California. Mike was the best player in every tournament that we entered my entire career. Every time we stepped on the diamond he was the most talented kid and he worked so hard."
All proceeds from the 5K and the baseball game go towards the MDJ Scholarship Foundation. They've helped several Jackson area kids further dreams beyond the diamond.
Ahsia Clayton plays hoops at Tougaloo. She benefited from winning the MDJ Scholarship in 2015. "I'm currently a rising senior. I'm doing research at UMMC this summer, returning to the same lab that I was in last summer. We published a paper in that lab. My first time having a paper in a scientific journal published. I try to come out every year to support. To whom much is given, much is required."
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