Thursday, May 20, 2010

#277 Johnny Lewis

#277 Johnny Lewis
Ohhhh, Johnny. You know the drill. No hat = Mets logo, Cardinals uniform. I think I'm going to start creating shoddy MS Paint hats for these guys.

Fun facts about Johnny Lewis:

-Hailing from Greenville, AL, Johnny signed with the Tigers in 1959 at age 19. He was acquired by St. Louis shortly thereafter.

-He was a slugger in the minors, topping 20 home runs in three straight seasons (1960-1962).

-Played in 40 games for the Cardinals as a rookie in 1964, hitting .234, but did not make the postseason roster.

-Was dealt to the Mets that offseason, and his 15 home runs were only four off the team lead in 1965. He led the club with 59 walks, boosting his low .245 batting average to a healthier .331 on-base percentage. This allowed him to pace the team in OPS+ as well (105).

-On June 14, 1965 he famously broke up a no-hitter by Cincinnati's Jim Maloney with an eleventh-inning home run. The Mets would win 1-0.

-His career may have lasted longer if he could've faced Maloney more often. In 34 plate appearances against the Reds pitcher, Lewis slugged .643 with three homers and two doubles among his seven hits!

-He played only 65 games the following year, as his average dipped below .200.

-A miserable 13-game stint (4-for-34, 0 HR) in 1967 ended Johnny's big league career. In parts of four seasons he hit .227 with 22 home runs and 74 RBI.

-After continuing to play in the minors through the 1968 season, Lewis rejoined the Cardinals organization in 1970 and stayed on for almost three decades as a scout, coach, and manager. He even coached at the major league level from 1973-1976 and 1985-1989.

-Since 1999, Lewis has instructed minor league hitters for the Houston Astros.
#277 Johnny Lewis (back)

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