Ernie Johnson Sr., a former MLB player best known for his broadcasting role in Atlanta where he will be remembered as “the voice of the Braves,” died Friday, the team announced. He was 87.
Johnson, the father of NBA analyst Ernie Johnson Jr., was a major league pitcher for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves before joining the organization’s front office as an announcer, making him one of the few to be tied to the franchise in all three cities.
“The Braves family has suffered a great loss today,” said Braves President John Schuerholz. “Ernie was the heart and soul of the Braves for so long, first as a player and then as the voice of the team in the broadcast booth.”
Johnson’s last season as the team’s broadcaster in 1999 marked 50 years of his association with the Braves organization. Two years later he was inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame.
To honor the legendary broadcaster, Braves players will wear a commemorative patch on their uniforms for the rest of the 2011 season.
While Ernie’s official cause of death is currently unknown at this time, the LA Times reported that he died while under hospice care with Lois, his wife of 63 years, at his side.
In memory of Ernie Johnson Sr., we dug up this video – originally filmed in 1982 – which covers his MLB career, personal life, and time as announcer with the Braves.