EA’s Johnson to play in Under Armour Baseball GamePublished 3:11pm Monday, August 4, 2014
If and when Keith Johnson crouches behind home plate on Aug. 16, his view will be a historic one.
Edgewood Academy’s senior starting catcher will see the iconic ivy-lined outfield wall at Wrigley Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, as part of the seventh annual Under Armour All-America Baseball Game presented by Baseball Factory.
Johnson was among a handful of some of the country’s top talents to get an invitation to the national showcase after his tryout.
While most were dialed in and trying their level best to earn an invite, baseball was secondary at the time of the tryout at Spain Park High.
“One of my best friends had just passed away from leukemia, so the tryout wasn’t much on my mind,” he said. “But I came through it and they called me back and said they liked everything I had.”
The catcher will join 35 of the best high school players from across the nation at Wrigley Field later this month.
With a small number playing at one of America’s oldest parks, the senior knows he’s lucky.
“It’s going to be a great experience. This is what everybody lives up to do,” he said. “I’m just blessed to have this opportunity.
“With this experience, enjoying my time is biggest thing. It’s cool to be able to go play top guys around, but for the most part, it’s about having fun.
Last season, Johnson played in 39 of 44 games for the Wildcats, who won their sixth straight state championship.
He hit .261 with 12 RBIs, six runs scored and had a .979 fielding percentage.
Johnson credited his high school coach, Bobby Carr, and Edgewood’s coaching staff for the chance to play in the Under Armour game.
“It’s not as much about Keith Johnson as a player, I look back at my coaches, and where would I be without them,” he said. “They get through everything, they got me in drills every day. I put it all back to them, and thanks to all of them.
“It’s a great deal of responsibility to go out and play. I just want to do what I’ve been taught and make the best of it.”
Johnson is raising money to help with the cost of his attendance of the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game, as well as an invitation to two five-day camps, one in Florida and one in Arizona, through Baseball Factory. Those interested in donating can contact the Johnsons through the school.