Lauderdale County
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Bill Johnson 

He was known as one of the best pitchers in the semi­professional league in Alabama during the early- and mid-1950s. He ultimately became one of the first baseball players from Lauderdale County to sign a professional contract. He grew up in the Oakland community in west Lauderdale County and played at Central High School. He played second base and shortstop for Central, striking out only once during his final three seasons. While in the military, he played service ball for Fort Carson, Colo .. where he played with former Yankees manager Bill Martin. When his military duty was complete, he returned home and played for several area semi-pro World Series teams. In 1956, he threw 17 consecutive no-hit innings while pitching for Oakland. He had his bid for back-to-back no-hitters spoiled by giving up a ninth-inning single. The two games were part of a string of29 consecutive shutout innings. The next year while pitching in the state semi-pro tournament for Central, a Brooklyn Dodgers scout noticed him and signed him to a contract. He was assigned to the Bluefield Doders' rookie team after taking in spring training with the Brooklyn Dodgers. But he never got to pitch. He was mistakenly put into a game as a pinch hitter and slammed the first pitch ofT the fence, prompting the manager to move him to centerfield. He hit .305 and led his team to the pennant, but an ofT-season injury forced him to give up baseball. He later served as mayor of Muscle Shoals.