Playing in a high school baseball all-star game is a Johnson family tradition.
Runnels baseball coach Tookie Johnson was the MVP of the New Jersey North vs. South All-Star Game before moving on to LSU, where he was a starter on the Tigers’ 1991 national championship team.
Bobby Johnson, Tookie’s oldest son, followed in his father’s footsteps a few years ago, becoming the first Johnson to reach a Louisiana all-star game.
So when Johnny Johnson started his senior season at Runnels, he had one goal in mind.
“I didn’t want to be the only one to miss out on it,” Johnny said. “I had to work at it to make sure I got there myself.”
Johnny won’t have to worry about living up to the family legacy anymore after earning a spot in the LHSCA/LSCA East-West all-star game, the same game his brother played in, and successfully continued the family tradition. The two-game set will start at 7 p.m. Friday and 12:15 p.m. Saturday.
Tookie, who hit .333 and scored seven runs in LSU’s first run at the College World Series title under coach Skip Bertman, said he sees a lot of himself in his son, if only because he’s been coaching him his whole life.
But Tookie also said Johnny is a better athlete than he was at the same age out of Schalick High in Elmer, New Jersey, where he was also a shortstop.
Runnels missed out on the playoffs this year, but Johnny hit .420 this season with three home runs.
“He’s definitely a more talented athlete than I was,” Tookie said. “He’s faster, he has a better arm than I had and he actually hits with a little more power. He has a lot of tools that, at this point in his career, are actually a little better than I was at that point in my career.”
LSU has another family member in the all-star game this weekend with former catcher Kade Scivicque’s little brother, Chaz, playing on the East team with Johnson.
Being the little brother of LSU’s former starting catcher can be tough, and it didn’t help that Chaz had to switch positions from catcher to first base this season after a labrum tear required surgery, but the senior out of Maurepas made a name for himself around Louisiana high school baseball.
Chaz led Maurepas with a .425 batting average, including four home runs and eight doubles, earning him District 8-C MVP honors.
“It feels like I stepped up and made my point to show that I can be as good as he is and show that I can play, too,” Chaz said. “We always have competition on who got better or who got more awards throughout school and who did this and who did that. This was a goal I had set to accomplish.”