NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Ron Johnson, the all-time winningest manager in Norfolk Tides history, has died of complications from COVID-19, the team announced on Tuesday.
Johnson, who was 64, managed the Baltimore Orioles’ triple-A affiliate from 2012 to 2018. He piled up 491 wins over his tenure, which was the longest in franchise history.
“Our entire organization is devastated by this news,” Tides General Manager Joe Gregory said in a statement. “RJ was a fantastic manager who always got so much out of his players, but he was an even better person behind the scenes. His personality and love of the game made him one of baseball’s outstanding people, and he’ll truly be missed.”
Johnson was named the International League Manger of the Year, after leading the Tides to the division title in 2015. He amassed 1,752 wins over a 24-year career as a minor league manager, and even had the opportunity to coach his son, Chris, who played for the Tides in 2017.
“Very few people enjoyed life every day like RJ,” said Pete Michaud, the Tides long-time play-by-play voice. “I will miss him greatly.”