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Deron Johnson
First baseman/Third baseman/Outfielder/Designated hitter
Born: July 17, 1938(1938-07-17)
San Diego, California
Died: April 23, 1992 (aged 53)
Poway, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 20, 1960 for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
May 28, 1976 for the Boston Red Sox
Career statistics
Batting average     .244
Home runs     245
Runs batted in     923
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Deron Roger Johnson (July 17, 1938 - April 23, 1992) was an American infielder, outfielder, and designated hitter in Major League Baseball. Born in San Diego, California, he played for the New York Yankees, Kansas City & Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, Atlanta Braves, and Milwaukee Brewers during his 15-year major league career. He later served as a coach for 13 seasons with the California Angels (1979-80; 1989-92), New York Mets (1981), Philadelphia Phillies (1982-84), Seattle Mariners (1985-86), and Chicago White Sox (1987). Johnson was serving as a coach with California when he was diagnosed with lung cancer, which claimed his life on April 23, 1992, at the age of 53.

Deron Johnson first appeared in a major league game on September 20, 1960. The 22-year-old was called upon to pinch hit in the ninth inning of a 1-1 tie between New York and Washington, facing Senators southpaw Hal Woodeshick. Mickey Mantle flied out to right and Bill Skowron doubled. Johnson advanced Skowron to third with a fly to center. The Yankees won 2-1 in the 11th.

Johnson's contract was purchased from Kansas City by the Cincinnati Reds on April 5, 1963. Playing for Triple-A San Diego, he topped the Pacific Coast League with 33 home runs, tied for fifth with 91 RBI, and was picked as first baseman on the PCL All-Star team. 1964 his first full season in the major leagues with the Reds where he produced a .273 average with 21 home runs and 79 runs batted in.

The 1965 season with the Cincinnati Reds was one of his best during his career. Along with Frank Robinson, Pete Rose, Vada Pinson, Tony Perez and Leo Cardenas. Johnson at age 26 hit .287 blasted 32 home runs, and drove in a National League leading 130 Runs. Pete Rose was quoted in 1983, "I had never seen anyone hit the ball harder than Deron Johnson."

While playing for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1971 Johnson clubbed 34 homers and drove in over 90 runs. Johnson hit .300 in the 1973 World Series while playing with the Oakland A's.

He opened 1974 with the A's, but on June 24, 1974, he was released on waivers to the Milwaukee Brewers. On September 7, Johnson was sold to the Boston Red Sox, who were in the middle of a pennant fight they ultimately lost. The following April he signed with the White Sox.

In 148 games for the White Sox, Johnson hit 18 home runs, and drove in 72 RBI. On September 21, after Jim Rice had been injured earlier in the day, the Red Sox once again needed some supplemental power and reacquired Johnson, sending cash and a player to be named later. Later in 1975, catcher Chuck Erickson was named as the Boston player who was sent to the White Sox to seal the deal. Johnson's Red Sox role was to play first base and serve as designated hitter. Johnson's last home run of his career came on September 27, 1975 off of Indians pitcher Rick Waits at Fenway park.

In 1979, Johnson was also inducted by the San Diego Hall of Champions into the Breitbard Hall of Fame honoring San Diego's finest athletes both on and off the playing surface.[1]

See also

External links

Preceded by
Ken Boyer
National League RBI Champion
1965
Succeeded by
Hank Aaron
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