Jay Johnstone

  • Died: September 26, 2020
  • Location:


Jay Johnstone

Two-time World Series champion known as a prankster in the clubhouse

Jay Johnstone was a versatile outfielder who won a World Series title with the Dodgers and the Yankees. For full obituary and coverage from Legacy.com, click here.

Condolence & Memory Journal

A friend of 65 years.

Posted by Dan Leonard    November 25, 2021


Almost a year since you left..hoping you're flying high... you sure are missed in this world.

Posted by Paula Carpenter Mutzel - Cape May Court House, NJ - friend   September 09, 2021

A good ballplayer and a bunch of class. Not many men can compare to his sense of humor.

Posted by Bill Dorpfeld - Vero Beach, FL - acquaintance   May 31, 2021

I didn't hear the sad news until the first week of February. He was my all time favorite baseball player. I was a fan since 1976. When he had a great season for the Phillies. My condolences to his family, friends, and other fans around the country

Posted by Cindy Wilmoth - Cookeville, TN - acquaintance   February 21, 2021

Jay baseball days were alittle before my time but Jay sounds like a totally amazing person both on and off the field. So sorry.

Posted by peter pisani    January 17, 2021

First to Jay's family, my deepest condolences. I just found out about Jay's passing. To Jay, thank you for all the memories. You were one of my favorite players no matter what team you were on. I basically grew up parallel to your career. Your book is the best. Keep the baseball players loose in heaven. May God Bless You, Paul Kletzel

Posted by A friend   December 24, 2020

Posted by - acquaintance   December 22, 2020

Mr. Johnstone signed my ball when I was a kid. I still threw the ball around a few times and hit it once with a bat. Not sure why... given it was a signed professional ball. Kid stuff. I kept the ball all these years.... I still remember him signing it on the sidelines. Smiling. I asked him to sign the box too. And he did. From what I've read about him that was just part of his character. Much respect and love.

Posted by William Sweet - Big Bear, CA - acquaintance   December 06, 2020


I remember meeting you Jay when I was 12 when you were a Phillie! You were so kind to a young Deaf teen and her Dad and remember we gave you homemade Choc Chip Cookies? We miss you and hope you're very happy in your new Heavenly home. Much comfort to your wife and all your adult kids and grandkids! ♥♥♥♥♥♥

Posted by Martha Coulter - Albuquerque, NM - Acquaintance   December 03, 2020

Our prayers and thoughts to the family. This I send on behalf of our family and the students and parents that knew you and your family at S.S. Felicitas and Perpetua elementary school. May your family find the strength to move forward each day. With love from the Weeks family.

Posted by Jamie Weeks - San Gabriel, CA - friend   October 05, 2020

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.

Posted by Devon - Fort Lauderdale, FL   October 05, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss, Jay was an incredible person and athlete. I have so many great memories of him playing, and he was such a great person. Please accept my deepest sympathies, I am praying that his family finds comfort in all the wonderful memories of him.

Posted by A friend   October 04, 2020

Jay was the best and had a real passion for life. He'll be greatly missed. I send my condolences to his family and friends. I'm praying that the God of all creation comforts and provides them with strength and peace of mind during this difficult time.

Posted by Bob Seville    October 04, 2020

Jay was a great person who when he came east always called me ,he treated me and my buddies to a Yankees game and also gave my babe Ruth team a free clinic.just a great person and I will miss him greatly.jay would call you just to see how you and the family were doing, especially around holiday.jay RIP you now have the best seat in the house to watch baseball.you are a great person.

Posted by Arnidis - Reading, PA - friend   October 03, 2020

Posted by Jim Arnidis - Reading, PA - friend   October 03, 2020

Mary Jayne and Mary Jayne Sarah,

Please accept our deepest sympathies at this difficult time. Jay was one of our favorite players. We were lucky enough to meet him a few times at Dodger events.

Best Wishes, The Rice Family- San Pedro

Greg, Paula, Jay and Will

Posted by A friend   October 03, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss. I met Jay in 1984 when I was a 14 year old Cubs fan. He was not only my favorite player, he was a great mentor and role model. I am glad I got to speak to him in recent years. I am sending love to you all in this difficult time.

Posted by CAROLYN (Sue) GUBRUD - IL - friend   October 03, 2020

My condolences to the family first. I remember jay when he was sponsoring softball tournaments, meet and talked to him a few times very down to earth person, it’s so sad to hear of his passing. Jay loved his sports, he loved being out there with fans, it’s so sad. Jay RIP.

Posted by Terry Williams - Los Angeles, CA - friend   October 02, 2020

My condolence to Jay Johnstone’s Wife Maryjane and Daughter Maryjane His sister and brother in-law I have many good memories of Jay and Maryjane

Posted by Michael Picano - Covina, CA - friend   October 02, 2020

My condolences go out to the Johnston’s family. Jay will be missed by his family and fans.

Posted by Taylor    October 02, 2020

Thoughts and Prayers to the family.

Posted by - Whittier, CA   October 01, 2020

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. I remember when Jay played for the Phillies and again as an announcer.

Posted by Russ Harden - Oak Ridge, TN   October 01, 2020

So sorry to hear Jay died. Prayers and warm wishes to you. Bill and Helen Henry

Posted by A friend   October 01, 2020

Thoughts and prayers to Jay Johnstone’s family and friends. May God who comforts all who are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit be a refuge for you at this extremely difficult time.

Posted by A friend   October 01, 2020

Met Jay when he was with the Dodgers in Philly. Caught a foul ball off his bat and had him sign it after the game. What a character , always laughing and enjoying life. So saddened to learn of his passing. Prayers for his Family and friends. I bet he's already playing on his " Field of Dreams" Stay Johnstone Strong

Posted by Dave Stuber - Ludwigs Corner, PA - acquaintance   October 01, 2020

I read Jay's books over and over and over as a middle schooler. To this day, I remember his pranks, his writing, his stories of getting pizza delivered as a soldier, his changing of Lasorda's tomatoes, and the Shadow. In some ways, I think his writing and his spirit and joie de vivre have helped me become the person I am. It's funny how things stay with you, but at times I say to myself, "only the shadow knows" and this comes from his pranks based on the Green Lantern and the Shadow. My condolences to his wife and daughter, and other family, and thank you to Mr. Johnstone. May you hit tennis balls off of batting tees in the great beyond to your heart's content.

Posted by Kevin Ahn - Acquaintance   October 01, 2020

Much love to Jay's family. My heart breaks for you all. Jay was a funny, thoughtful guy and what a baseball player. His parents were good friends of my in laws Stan and Charlotte. Stan and Jack were great friends for many years. Stan loved to watch Jay play and Jay often got Stan tickets to the home games. I bought Jay's first book and Stan got it signed by Jay for me. I gave it to my mom... Jay will be missed. I need to get that book out again and read the funny stories. Jay say hi to Stan, Charlotte and Linda in heaven for us.

Posted by Sally - Santa Ana, CA - acquaintance   September 30, 2020

Mr. Johnstone and Joe Masino sponsored a travelling men's softball team and helped change the course of some troubled young men. Thanks Jay.

Posted by Michael Morrison - Duarte, CA   September 30, 2020

Jay sponsored a young men's travelling softball team that changed the course of my life from a direct line to jail to becoming a young man with a goal. I met him only a few times and was awestruck when I did. I am not sure where I would be now if not for Jay's Boys Softball Club and the self respect it gave me. Thank you Jay. God Bless.

Posted by Michael Morrison - Duarte, CA - friend   September 30, 2020

Jay was my all time favorite athletic. As a young girl going to see him @ Vet Stadium Id be dressed head to toe in his #21! Amazing talent! So sad to hear of his passing- he gave many baseball fans great memories- RIP

Posted by Sharon - AZ   September 30, 2020

Sending prayers to the family of Jay Johnstone. Please accept my sincere condolences.

Posted by JE Sowell - Charlotte, NC   September 30, 2020

Mary Jane, it has been a very long time since we talked or kept in touch, but I would think about you guys often.Times like these bring back those memories and good times.
All the best to you and your family,
Paul & Susan Stathatos

Posted by Paul & Susan Stathatos - Santa Rosa, CA - friend   September 30, 2020

Mary Jane please accept my condolences. I don’t know if you remember me from your time with Phillies. We watched jay play from behind the plate we stayed in touch for a while. But, like all time we lost touch. I was very saddened by Jays death but it made me think about the times you sneaked a young cop into the vet. My prayers are with you and your daughter. God bless

Posted by John Gargiulo - Philadelphia, PA - friend   September 30, 2020

My heartfelt condolences to his family. He was my all time favorite athlete and I loved watching him play. I hope memories of him will comfort his family during this difficult time. I'll always remember him, he will be greatly missed.

Posted by J Pennington    September 30, 2020

Extending heartfelt condolences and prayers of comfort to the family of Jay Johnstone. So happy that he got to do what he loved in life and was so good at it too. I pray that God soften your grief during this difficult time and that the family find peace and support from the many friends that loved him.

Posted by L. M. - CA   September 30, 2020

Quite a character who will be missed

RIP Jay!

Posted by Chuck G    September 30, 2020

God is a God of all Comfort and he will Comfort the family's..My heartfelt condolences to the family's..

Posted by A friend   September 30, 2020

Please accept my sincere condolences to the Johnstone Family, May the God of Tender Comfort take care of you as He mends and binds up your grieving hearts with His peace and loving care. Thank you for Jay’s contribution to the Baseball League, he will be missed.

Posted by BRY    September 30, 2020

My sincere condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Jay Johnstone. May the God of tender mercies comfort you at this difficult time.

Posted by Mary - Neighbor   September 30, 2020

He was my favorite player, growing up. I named my dog Johnstone after him.

Posted by Terry Payne    September 30, 2020


Posted by Kent Sivadge - TX   September 30, 2020

My condolences to the Johnstone family, so very sorry for your loss, may God be with all of you in your time of sorrow to comfort and strengthen you,

Posted by A friend   September 30, 2020

To The Family of Mr. Johnstone : Prayers and Thoughts are with you all at this difficult time. I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you Mr. Johnstone for Great MEMORIES. God Bless You ..

Posted by Diana Clendenin - ASTON, PA   September 30, 2020

Deepest condolences to the Johnstone family in this of your dear loss, may you find peace from family and friends . May you find comfort from the words of Isaiah 51:12.

Posted by A friend   September 30, 2020

I was a huge fan of Jay Johnstone his entire career ... not only for his great baseball skills but for the fun he would bring to the game. Most of the time I didn't even care what the score of the game was. I just wanted to see what great joke he was going to pull on the players ... they were classics : ) There will never be another like him. Deepest condolences to his family. RIP

Posted by Lisa Wulff - Urbandale, IA   September 29, 2020

Jay also played with the Yankees and had a very positive impact on them too!

Posted by Chuck Lynch - Columbus, OH - Friend   September 29, 2020

Sorry to learn of Jay's passing, he was a pretty good player and was a colorful guy to have around! R.I.P.

Posted by Peter Cullen - Clifton, NJ   September 29, 2020


May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.

Posted by Bill Delsoldato - LEE, MA - acquaintance   September 29, 2020

Met Jay several times at York,Pa sports night. What an amazing person.
Very sincere individual. Have several photos with him that will be cherished forever.
RIP friend

Posted by Rick Little - Hanover, PA - friend   September 29, 2020

My all time favorite Phillie

Posted by Bette Calabrese - Mechanicsburg, PA - friend   September 29, 2020

I have many fond memories of my opportunities to share experiences with Jay in high school (football and baseball) and summer leagues. I have read his books Temporary Insanity, Some of my Best Friends are Crazy, and Over the Edge. I'll never forget the picture in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune of Jim Merritt (Twins) pitching to Jay (Angels). Wishing the very best to all those important in Jay's life.

Posted by Kirby Hall - Belton, MO - friend   September 29, 2020

I'm saddened to hear of JJ's death he was so much fun to see on the field and had an infectious love of life. He will be missed.

Posted by A friend   September 29, 2020

It is with a heavy heart to hear the passing of Jay. I admired his baseball accomplishments and his joking ways. He was a kind man who always was friendly and engaging.
My condolences to MaryJane and little MaryJane... God bless you and your family during these unsettled chapters in your lives.
Remember its not good bye but, we'll see you later.
Hope the warmth of your memories comfort you during this time.
All the best,
Dan Murray

Posted by Daniel Murray - Laguna Niguel, CA   September 29, 2020

I was a huge fan of Jay. Enjoyed watching him play with the Phillies and Dodgers...he was my favorite player with a great talent. I have all his books and laugh from the beginning to end. Very sad time for baseball. RIP Jay..my condolences to his family and friends.

Posted by Maureen Gilligo - MERCERVILLE, NJ   September 29, 2020

Pride of West Covina and one of the great characters in The Game, who had a long and productive MLB career.

Thanks for all of the good laughs and great play, Jay. Safe at home.

Posted by - CA   September 29, 2020

I was a big fan when he was with the California Angels and also throughout his career. My condolences to the family.

Posted by Michael Cid - Pueblo, CO   September 29, 2020

Sorry to hear of the loss. Growing up in San Marino I would occasionally see Jay around town. He was always friendly and gave the kids his time and inspiration after the 81 World Series. RIP Jay and thanks for the memories.

Posted by Brian Clougherty - Pasadena, CA - neighbor   September 29, 2020

I am so sorry about the loss of Jay. Being a two-time World Series champion leaves pleasant memories. The Johnstone family has my deepest condolences. I pray that you will be surrounded continuously with love and support. And, as you go through this difficult time, may Almighty God give you everlasting comfort (2 Thess. 2:16).

Posted by Jenee    September 29, 2020

Jay was a guest at our youth baseball camp for three summers. He was a "class act." No pranks. The camp was his classroom. The campers, who idolized him, his students. He was a special person who didn't act like a special person. I have not met many like him. Rest in peace, Jay.

Posted by Ted Grabowski - Churchville, PA - friend   September 29, 2020

Family Album

Jay Johnstone