- 2B, 3B, SS, 1B
- January 30, 1943
- 6' 1"
- 170 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-13-1965 with BAL
- Allstar Selections:
- 1969 GG, 1970 GG, 1971 GG, 1997 Mgr
The manager of the 1986 World Series champion New York Mets, Davey Johnson had a solid career as a second baseman in the 1960s and 1970s. A three -time Gold Glove winner, he and Mark Belanger formed a talented double play duo for the Orioles on three straight pennant winners. With the Braves, the right-hander belted 43 homers in his first season in Fulton-County Stadium, more than twice as many as he hit in any other season. As a skipper, he posted a winning record with each of the four teams that employed him, and guided three different teams into the post-season.
Johnson won three Gold Gloves in Baltimore for his play at second base. He was a rangy fielder, even filling in at shortstop at times, when needed. But the O's traded him to Atlanta in a six-player deal after the 1972 season. Baltimore had young Bobby Grich ready till step in at second... Johnson's last starting gig in the majors was with Atlanta in 1974, when he split time between first and second. When he went to Japan to play the following season, the Braves plugged Earl Williams in at first, and Marty Perez, who had been a shortstop, moved to second. When Johnson requested a trade in 1975, the Braves did their best to get a deal done, but failed. Anxious to move on, Johnson signed a deal with the Tokyo Giants in the Japanese League, and secured his release from Atlanta. The Braves replaced him at first base with Mike Lum. Johnson played two seasons in Japan, with mixed results, and returned to the majors in 1977 with the Phillies as a pinch-hitter, utility player. He played two seasons and then accepted a job to manage in the minors for the Mets.
Yes, Johnson took advantage of friendly Fulton-County Stadium hitting 26 homers and slugging .612 at home, but he also had a good season on the road. He hit 17 homers in 79 road games, batting .267 with a .486 SLG mark. Despite his 43 homers, Johnson drove in just 99 runs. That was in large part due to his 24 solo-homers. His best month was August, when he caught fire, hitting .330 with 12 homers and a .761 slugging percentage in 25 games. He was named the National League Comeback Player of the Year.
Davey Johnson is the only man to be a teammate of both Hank Aaron and Sadaharu Oh.
In 1978, Davey Johnson tied a major league record by hitting two pinch-hit grand slams.
June 2, 1962: Signed by the Baltimore Orioles as an amateur free agent. November 30, 1972: Traded by the Baltimore Orioles with Pat Dobson, Roric Harrison, and Johnny Oates to the Atlanta Braves for Earl Williams and Taylor Duncan. April 11, 1975: Released by the Atlanta Braves. February 3, 1977: Signed as a Free Agent with the Philadelphia Phillies. August 6, 1978: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Chicago Cubs for Larry Anderson. October 17, 1978: Released by the Chicago Cubs.
Early in his career, his defensive range and fielding ability. Later, after he bulked up, his greatest strength was his ability to pull the ball.
He was an average baserunner, with poor speed.
"Davey Johnson never was much for mincing words. He's from the old 'get the job done' school," wrote Ray Kelly in The Sporting News on June 4, 1977.
In 1973, Johnson murdered the Cardinals. In 10 games against St. Louis that season, he hit four homers and three doubles, batted .424, slugged .879, and drove in 11 runs. For his career, in 31 games against the Cards, Johnson hit .373 (28-for-75) with five homers, 23 RBI, and a .627 SLG... When Johnson returned to the big leagues with the Phillies for the 1977 season, he took a $130,000 cut in pay. He had earned $180,000 in each of his two seasons in Japan, and inked a $50,000 contract with Philadelphia... During one stretch in 1977 when the Phillies won 12 of 13 games, Johnson was 5-for-6 with two-game-winning hits as a pinch-hitter.
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