Johnny Hopp was born in Hastings Nebraska. His dad was a chicken farmer and tavern owner. He was one of six boys and three girls. His brother Harry played in the Rose Bowl as a back for Nebraska. He attended Hastings High School. The school did not have a baseball team but he played for the local legion team during the summer. He attended Hastings College. The college did not have a baseball team so he played semi-pro ball for Carroll Iowa. While playing for Carroll he played against Bob Feller who was a school boy phenom pitching for Tempelton.
Joe McDermott who was managing Omaha in the Western League noticed Johnny and Johnny was signed to a contract with the Norfolk franchise in the Nebraska State League.
The 19 year old from Hastings Nebraska
into the lineup for the Norfolk Elks in 1936. He played in 107 games and
averaged .361 and had 26 home runs and 36 stolen bases. .
He was promoted to Rochester for the 1937 season. He hit .307 in 141 games and was invited to St. Petes for the Cardinals spring training camp in 1938. His sore arm kept him from making the Cards in 1938 and he returned to Rochester for the 1938 season.
In 1938 he averaged .299 for Rochester. In 1939 he played for Houston and was moved to first base as a way to minimize his sore arm problems. He averaged .312 for Houston.
He made his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in September 1939. He was a regular for St. Louis through the 1945 season. In 1946 he was traded to the Boston Braves. He was named to the National League All Star Team in 1946 with a .333 average. In 1948 he went to Pittsburg and in 49 he played in Pittsburg, Brooklyn and then back to Pittsburg.
His brother Harry "Hippity" Hopp was a fullback at the University of Nebraska and was the 20th player picked in the 1941 NFL draft. He was picked by Detroit and played for Detroit for three years. In 1943 he had 6 touchdowns in his first four games including 3 against the Chicago Cardinals, and one against Brooklyn, the Chicago Bears and Green Bay. He finished the season with nine total touchdowns. He returned to pro football in 1946, playing in the All America Football Conference. He played for Miami, Buffalo and the Los Angeles Dons before retiring at the end of the 1947 season.
In late 1950 he moved to the junior circuit with the Yankees. He played with the Yanks and Detroit through the 1952 season. He accumulated four World Series Rings during his career, two with St. Louis and two with the Yankees. He then became a coach with the Tigers.
He died in Scottsbluff Nebraska in 2003.
Nebraska Minor League Baseball Home