Thursday, September 09, 2010

#363 Bob Johnson

#363 Bob Johnson
I bet you didn't know it was Johnson week here on the ol' blog. Actually, Bob is the last of the five Johnsons we'll see in the 1965 Topps set. We're already acquainted with Alex, Davey, Deron, and Ken. Making some progress now...

Fun facts about Bob Johnson:

-A native of Omaha, NE, Bob played unaffiliated ball with the Pauls Valley (OK) Raiders in 1954 and was acquired by Detroit the following year.

-The Athletics claimed him in the Rule V draft and brought him to the majors in 1960. He hit .205 in 76 games as a 24-year-old rookie.

-The second Senators franchise grabbed him that offseason in the expansion draft, and he claimed their starting shortstop job in the second half of 1961. He acquitted himself well, hitting .295 with 20 extra-base hits in 61 games.

-In 1962, he was a full-time player for the only time in his MLB career. Splitting most of his time between third base and shortstop, he batted .288 with 20 doubles and 12 home runs (placing him second on the Sens in all three categories).

-Traded to the Orioles, Bob was recast as a pinch hitter. Aside from a .295 average in 1963, his overall numbers were nothing special in Baltimore. But he did lead the American League with 15 pinch hits in 45 at-bats in 1964.

-Johnson spent the last four years of his career packing his bags and repacking them, playing for six different clubs (Orioles, Mets, Reds, Braves, Cardinals, A's).

-In 1967, his lone season in New York, he turned in his best effort as a part-timer, batting .348 overall and .382 (13-for-34) as the N.L.'s best pinch hitter while, as always, playing all four infield positions.

-On August 8, 1967, his leadoff home run in the bottom of the 11th inning gave the Mets a 3-2 walkoff win over Atlanta.

-When his 11-year career wrapped up in 1970, he was a .272 hitter with 44 home runs and 330 RBI. Coincidentally, his career average as a pinch hitter was also .272!

-Not only did Bob have more plate appearances against Jim Kaat than he did against anyone else, but he also battered Kaat to the tune of a .425 average (17-for-40), two doubles, one triple, two home runs, and seven RBI. On April 17, 1970, he also hit the final home run of his career off of the 283-game winner, who likely was not sad to see him go!
#363 Bob Johnson (back)

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