Micah Johnson's Journey through Sports & ArtBehind every man, there is a story that has helped shape him into who he currently is. The simple love and pure enjoyment for something can turn into a dream, a dream that only hard work and dedication can help achieve. Multi talented Micah Johnson out of North Manchester Indiana understood that, and he has a story to tell. His love for the game of baseball and opportunity to express himself artistically has been the steering wheel in his life. It all started when he was just two years old playing in his grandparent's farm, and came across a tee with a ball attached to a string, in which he started hitting. No influences, just pure fascination.
“Nobody inspired me to play,” Johnson said, “its was one of those things I just fell in love with on my own.”Baseball quickly went from just a fascination to an obsession that would consume every moment of his time. There wasn't any time for him to put his energy and effort into anything else besides that.
“Just baseball. Baseball consumed my every single second of the day as a kid,” Johnson said.During those long hours of working to perfect the art of baseball, he developed a vision. His dream of going pro, playing with and against the best while in front of thousands of people never wavered along the way. Johnson has always been the type of person to give himself a fighting chance to achieve greatness, no matter how high of the hill he would have had to climb.
“At an early age. I have never been the one to think anything is a long shot. I truly believe if someone can do it, why can’t I do it?” Johnson said.Johnson went to attend Indiana University Bloomington to play for the Hoosiers baseball team before getting drafted. That ultimate confidence in himself was the reasoning as to why and how he eventually was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2012, and excited experience he will never forget.
“It was an awesome feeling considering it was close to home. Only bad part was I grew up a Cubs fan my whole life,” he said.Although he had finally completed his lifelong dream of becoming a Major League baseball player, it was a journey before earning a spot on the team. But those times helped him to become more of a complete and experienced player. He started his career with the rookie-level Great Falls Voyagers and moved up to the Kannapolis Intimidators of the class A South Atlantic League in 2013, played for the Winston-Salem Dash of The Class A-Advanced Carolina League, the Birmingham Barons of the Class AA Southern League, and Charlotte Knights of the Class AAA International League before earning a roster spot for the White Sox in 2015.
“Compared to most, I had a fast climb through the organization. I was in Triple A my second full season and was the opening day starter the year after. Adversity has come of late when I performed and the white Sox rewarded me,” Johnson said.He continued on, “Every part of my game I needed to improve on. I think even the best players are never satisfied with where their game is at. Especially in such complex game like baseball.” He went from working tirelessly on those skills, to taking his first steps on the field during his first professional major league hit. It turned out to be a special moment for him, knowing the ladder he had to climb in order to earn an opportunity. He went from working tirelessly on those skills, to taking his first steps on the field during his first professional major league hit. It turned out to be a special moment for him, knowing the ladder he had to climb in order to earn an opportunity.
“It was extremely gratifying because my first at bat was a 13 pitch, and I flew out,” Johnson said. “So my second at bat, I really wanted to get Ventura. It was more about the battle than my first hit.”Not too long after Johnson was sent down to OKC Dodgers in the Minor Leagues. However, his drive and self-determination kept him focused during that time. It was looked at as a setback but nothing he couldn't bounce back from.
“Of course it was a step back. But I kept working. My results weren't there, but I learned a lot about staying focused and not disappointed,” Johnson said.Now that he is currently playing for the Atlanta Braves, he has a better understanding after going through many setbacks. In his eyes, it has helped him evolve into a better player and human being. He learned to just focus on the things that were in his control, and let everything else take its course.
“Just understanding how this game works as a business more than anything. No reason to get mad about things because you can start to see a lot of stuff you can't control,” Johnson said.Along the way, through the good and frustrating times, Micah unlocked his artistic skills by drawing and painting. It was way to escape from the game of baseball, and allow him to be in complete control. Not having to worry about the constant changes in his athletic career, helped him to take a breather and focus his energy on art, which was something just as pleasing.
“Art is one of those things I enjoyed doing and it just turned into an escape from baseball. When I paint, I am in control. In baseball, I don't have entire control because I can line out four times and be 0-4. Painting allows me to be in charge of every result,” Johnson said.In order to share his love for art, he has created a website dedicated to his art work, called “Micah Johnson Art: What Lines" to inspire and prove to the world that he can both be an athlete and artist. “My inspiration came from people telling me I can’t do both. ‘I paint too much.’ It’s an ignorant statement because I don't ever tell people that they watch Netflix too much,” Johnson said. “I want to inspire kids to be complex and not so one dimensional so that they can have options if something doesn't work out.” On October 7th, he will be releasing a variety of new pieces he has been working, which will be displayed at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta and will also be available online.
Here's a little old school/new school remix for your evening folks pic.twitter.com/evr4fZjsNP— Micah Johnson (@Micah_Johnson3) May 25, 2017