Kirkland has been a baseball-loving town for a very long time, and the beautiful Lee Johnson Field is a lovely testament to a proud baseball history & future. The field’s namesake has a plaque dedicated in his honor, engraved with a very flattering remembrance of him.
LEE JOHNSON FIELD
To honor the memory of Lee Johnson, on Dec 9, 2003 the mayor of Kirkland and the city council unanimously adopted a resolution to name the baseball field at Peter Kirk Park “Lee Johnson Field.” This memorial plaque is being presented and dedicated on the opening day of baseball March 20, 2004.
Lee Johnson was a hard working, dedicated athlete and an avid sports enthusiast who applied a respectful competitive spirit to everything he did.
This field became an integral part of Lee’s life’s he grew up playing sports here on the following teams:
1951 Kirkland’s original Little League team
1952 Kirkland’s first Youth Football team
1953 Kirkland’s first Babe Ruth team
1954-55 Kirkland Junior High School Varsity football team
1956-58 Kirkland’s American Legion team
1956-58 Lake Washington High School baseball team, as a star pitcher
1959-63 The Kirkland Town Team
Lee’s other athletic achievements
1956-58 Varsity basketball at Lake Washington High School
1956-58 Record setting quarterback and leader at Lake Washington High School for three undefeated seasons
1958-59 Football scholarship to the University of Idaho, where he also played baseball
1961-63 Pitcher for the University of Washington
Lee wholeheartedly encouraged young people of all abilities to participate in athletics, and felt especially connected to those who played, or dreamed of playing, the game of baseball.
An honest, caring and dedicated man, Lee was revered by family, friends, and the community for his integrity and respect for people. He quietly touched thousands of people’s lives as a friend and benefactor.
Lee’s generous support of youth activities included coaching baseball, basketball, and football, and sponsoring numerous athletic teams in Kirkland and on the Greater Eastside.
Lee was a major contributor to the Kirkland Performing Arts Center, and he and his father, Leroy E. Johnson, were the first contributors to the Peter Kirk Swimming Pool. Lee played a key role in reinstating Kirkland’s Fourth of July parade. He also donated “The Natural” statue currently located on the knoll down the left field line.
Leroy M. “Lee: Johnson January 17, 1940 – November 23, 2002
“Lee, we will always think of you as being a positive force in all areas of life. Your presence will be felt forever.”
Dan Whedon; “Dan the Fan” KBC Hitting Instructor And #1 Fan; Thank You From KBC And The City Of Kirkland: 1991
It includes recollections from Orville “Deep” Higginbotham, a former player for the Kirkland team, and a cool photo from the Ostberg family property in Juanita where many games were held.