Jimmy Johnston, who batted and threw right-handed, made his major-league debut on May 3, 1911 with the Chicago White Sox. He played only one game that season, and did not return to the majors until 1914, when he played 50 games with the Chicago Cubs. From 1916 through 1925 he was with the Brooklyn Robins. He finished up his career the following year, playing for three teams. His final game was September 11, 1926.
Flexibility was the reason for Jimmy Johnston's long career. He played 13 seasons, 10 of them with the Brooklyn Robins. He played 448 games at third base, 354 in the outfield, 243 at second, 178 at shortstop, and 49 at first base.
He had a decent .294 lifetime batting average, hitting in the .270 to .280 range near the end of the dead-ball era and going over .300 once the live-ball era started. He stole 169 bases in his career, mostly from 1916 to 1923. He had little power, except in 1921 when he had 41 doubles and 14 triples.
He appeared in the 1916 and 1920 World Series. He was used selectively. In the 1916 World Series he started two of the games, batting in the lead-off position. In the 1920 World Series, he appeared in four of the games, batting second mostly but also batting sixth in one of the games.
Almost all of his managers were Hall of Famers. Hugh Duffy managed him in 1911, Wilbert Robinson in his Brooklyn days, Dave Bancroft in Boston, and John McGraw in New York. The only non-Hall-of-Famer was Hank O'Day in 1914.
After his playing career ended, Jimmy Johnston was a coach with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1931.