HUMBOLDT, Kan. — A ribbon cutting in southeast Kansas honors the “Humboldt Thunderbolt.”
That’s legendary, 1924 World Series Champion Walter Johnson. He was a pitcher with the Washington Senators from 1907 to 1927.
A sign along US 169 as you enter Humboldt from the south, has honored the city as Johnson’s birthplace for several years. But, now it has a fresh new look.
Allie Utley’s grandfather, Dick Davis, created the original marker. She felt like it was her duty to upgrade the sign.
“Seemed obvious that I should be doing a project that also included my family’s legacy, so I just think I felt really compelled by the memory of my grandfather to work on this project and make sure that the story doesn’t die and that my grandpa’s memory doesn’t die with it either,” said Utley.
Utley is also organizing a 100-year celebration for both Johnson and Negro League Baseball player George Sweatt.
Like Johnson, Sweatt was also born in Humboldt and is a 1924 Negro League World Series Champion — he played with the Kansas City Monarchs.