Roy and his brother, the A's "Indian Bob" Johnson, were part-Indian, from Oklahoma.
A strong-armed outfielder, Roy twice led the league in assists and twice in errors;
as a Tiger rookie in 1929, he set the still-standing AL record of 31 outfield errors.
Also in 1929, he led the league with 640 at-bats and tied for the top spot with 45
doubles. He led the AL with 19 triples for the 1931 Tigers and often finished among
the league leaders in stolen bases. A four-time .300 hitter, he became a genuine
team leader. Johnson, Smead Jolley, and Earl Averill formed one of the all-time great-hitting
minor league outfields with the Pacific Coast League San Francisco Seals.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»May 24, 1929: Chicago's Ted Lyons and Detroit's George Uhle go 21 innings before the Tigers get a run to win 6–5 in the longest game—3 hours and 31 minutes—ever seen to date at Comiskey Park. Uhle is the winner, tossing 20 innings, with Vic Sorrell pitching the bottom of the 21st. Lyons, the loser, goes the distance and gives up 24 hits. Charlie Gehringer drives in Roy Johnson with a sac fly for the final run. No pitcher has matched either Lyons' or Uhle's marathon effort since. Les Mueller, in 1945, will come the closest.
»August 11, 1929:
A 3-run homer by Bubbles Hargrave and another run on a throwing error by Joe Cronin allows the Tigers to tie the A's, 8–8 in the 9th. Bengal OF Roy Johnson wins it in the 11th by stroking a 2-out inside the park homer, off Orwell.