Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Monday, August 2, 2010

1976 Topps #513 - Bart Johnson


  • Bart Johnson pitched for the Chicago White Sox from 1969-1977. Johnson was drafted by the White Sox in 1968 (he was the second player taken in the draft) and pitched in the minors in 1968 and 1969. After going 16-4 with a 2.17 ERA in 22 starts for class A Appleton Bart was brought up to the majors at the age of 19. He started four games for the White Sox in 1969 and was 1-3 with a 3.22 ERA.
  • Johnson pitched for Luis Aparicio's winter league team in Venezuela after the 1969 season and all of the work took a toll on his arm. The White Sox decided to start Bart in the minors in 1970 and bring him up when his arm rounded into shape. Johnson came back to the White Sox in mid-May and went 4-7 with a 4.82 ERA in 18 games (15 starts).
  • Johnson had his best year in 1971. He was a swingman and pitched in 53 games (16 starts). Bart went 12-10 with 14 saves and a 2.93 ERA in 1971. 
  • In the offseason Johnson hurt his knee playing basketball. The White Sox examined him and said that he had some torn cartilage but could rehab it. Johnson tried to rehab the injury but was unsuccessful. He was slated to be the White Sox' closer in 1972 but struggled and was sent to the minors in early June. He finally had surgery to repair the cartilage in September. Bart was 0-3 with one save and a 9.22 ERA in nine games for the White Sox in 1972.
  • Bart came back in 1973 to pitch in 22 games (9 starts) for the White Sox. He went 3-3 with a 4.13 ERA in '73.
  • Johnson started the 1974 season in the minors. He threatened to quit the White Sox and try out for the Seattle Supersonics NBA team (Bart was 6'5") but ended up reporting to the minors. Bart was brought up in July and went 10-4 with a 2.74 ERA in 18 starts.
  • Johnson hurt his back pitching on a muddy mound during spring training in 1975 and missed the entire season. In 1976 Bart started 32 games and was 9-16 with a 4.73 ERA.
  • The White Sox had a great year in 1977 and won 90 games. Bart was 4-5 with two saves and a 4.01 ERA in 29 games (4 starts). 
  • Bart was cut during spring training in 1978. He signed with Oakland but pitched in only one game for AAA Vancouver (he started a game and allowed four runs in one inning). Johnson pitched for Chicago's AAA Iowa club in 1979 and also pitched in the Mexican League in '79.
  • Johnson became a scout for the White Sox in 1980. He worked for the club from 1980-1997. Bart then worked for the Tampa Bay Rays for ten years before being let go when the team switched to a computerized scouting system. Johnson now lives in Oak Lawn, IL.
  • Here is a good 2009 interview with Johnson.

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