Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Thursday, August 19, 2010

1976 Topps #529 - Deron Johnson

  • Deron Johnson was at the end of a long career when this card came out. Johnson signed with the New York Yankees in 1956 and spent several years in the Yankees system. Deron hit at least 24 homers every year in the minors from 1956-1960. Johnson was originally a third baseman but he found his progress to the majors blocked  by Clete Boyer. Deron went 2 for 4 in a brief late season call-up in 1960.
  • In 1961 Deron started with the Yankees and batted .105 in 13 games. On June 14 he and Art Ditmar were traded to the Kansas City A's for Bud Daley. Johsnon played 3B, 1B, and all three OF positions for the A's and batted .216 with eight home runs in 83 games.
  • Johnson didn't play much in 1962, and most of his appearances were as a pinch hitter. Deron batted .105 in 19 at bats in 1962. Johnson was sold to the Cincinnati Reds at the end of spring training in 1963.
  • The Reds assigned Johnson to AAA San Diego. Deron hit 33 home runs for San Diego in 1963 and he was given the opportunity to win a job with the Reds in 1964. Deron mostly played 1B in 1964 and batted .273 with 21 HR and 79 RBI.
  • Johnson finished fourth in NL MVP voting in 1965 and led the league in RBI. Deron batted .287 with 32 HR and 130 RBI. Johnson's stats fell off a little in 1966 as he batted .257 with 24 HR and 81 RBI. Deron started off well in 1967 but he missed eight games with an injury in mid June and his stats steadily declined through the rest of the season. Johnson wound up batting .224 with 13 HR and 53 RBI in 108 games. Strong Man of the Reds - August 1967 Baseball Digest. After the 1967 season Deron was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Mack  Jones, Jim Beauchamp, and Jay Ritchie.
  • Johnson spent one year in Atlanta (1968) and batted .208 with 8 HR and 33 RBI. After the 1968 season Deron was sold to the Philadelphia Phillies. Downhill from Stardom - February 1969 Baseball Digest.
  • In 1969 Johnson played about half of the time in LF and also saw quite a bit of action at 3B and 1B. Deron batted .255 with 17 HR and 80 RBI in 138 games in '69. 
  • The Phillies traded Dick Allen after the 1969 season and Johnson got Allen's job at 1B. Deron hit well at that position for two seasons, batting .256 with 27 HR and 93 RBI in 1970 and .265 with 34 HR and 95 RBI in 1971.
  • In 1972 Deron had some injury problems and wasn't producing as well. He played in 96 games and batted .213 with nine home runs. Johnson started poorly in 1973 (.167 in 12 games) and was traded to the Oakland A's for a minor leaguer on May 2. Deron became Oakland's designated hitter and would be a DH most of the time for the remainder of his career. Johnson batted .246 with 19 HR and 81 RBI for the A's in 1973. He went 1 for 10 in the ALCS and was 3 for 10 in the World Series.
  • Johnson started poorly again in 1974 -- he batted .195 with 7 HR in 50 games for the A's before being  traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on June 24 for Bill Parsons and cash. Deron didn't  improve with the Brewers as he  batted .151 with 6 HR in 47 games. Johnson was sold to the Boston Red Sox for the pennant drive on September 7. Deron batted .120 in 11 games for Boston and was released after the season. 
  • Deron caught on with the Chicago White Sox during spring training in 1975. He played in 148 games for the White Sox and batted .232 with 18 HR and 72 RBI. The Red Sox reacquired Johnson for a minor leaguer and cash on September 21 and he went 6 for 10 in three games at the end of the 1975 season. Johnson started the 1976 season with the Red Sox but was released on June 4 after batting .132 in 38 AB.
  • After his playing career Johnson managed the Salt Lake City Gulls in the Pacific Coast League in 1978. He then coached for several teams from 1979-1991. Johnson was the hitting coach for the California Angels from 1989-1991 and was named the bench coach for the 1992 season but he was too ill to attend spring training. 
  • Johnson died of lung cancer on April 23, 1992.
  • Liked to face: Dan McGinn (.455 in 32 AB); Joe Gibbon (.448 in 29 AB); Bob Moose (.435 in 23 AB)
  • Hated to face: Ron Reed (.000 in 29 AB); Rudy May (.000 in 20 AB); Vida Blue (.000 in 23 AB) 

1 comment:

  1. Greg Luzinski was a 1st baseman in the minors, but was moved to LF when he joined the Phillies at the start of the 1972 season, due to Deron Johnson's presence in the Phillies' lineup.