Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Friday, November 12, 2010

1976 Topps #613 - Tim Johnson



  • Tim Johnson played in the majors from 1973-1979. Tim was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1967. Johnson played in the Dodgers' system from 1968-1972. In 1973 Tim started the season in AAA Albuquerque but was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Rick Auerbach on April 24. Johnson became the Brewers' starting shortstop and batted .213 in 136 games.
  • In 1974 an 18-year-old Robin Yount came up to the Brewers and Johnson was relegated to utility duty. Tim batted .245 in 93 games in 1974 and .141 in 38 games in 1975.
  • Johnson was used a lot at second base in 1976. He had his best season, batting .275 in 105 games while playing all four infield positions.
  • Tim played very sparingly in 1977. Johnson went 2 for 33 (.061) in 30 games during the season. 
  • It's interesting to see some of the salary data on Baseball Reference. Johnson went to arbitration after the 1977 season. The Brewers offered $62,000 while Johnson asked for $92,500. The arbitrator ruled in Johnson's favor. How did someone who batted .061 manage to win an arbitration case? Does anyone have any insight on this one?
  • Tim started the 1978 season with the Brewers. The Milwaukee infield was crowded during this time. Robin Yount was firmly entrenched at shortstop, Paul Molitor came up and played second base, and they had Don Money and Jim Gantner to back up. Johnson was the odd man out and was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on April 28 for Tim Nordbrook after going 0 for 3 in three games. Johnson batted .241 in 79 at bats for the Blue Jays in 1978.
  • Johnson batted .186 in 86 at bats for the Blue Jays in 1979. Tim became a free agent after the 1979 season but didn't sign with anyone.
  • After his playing career, Johnson scouted, coached, and managed in the  minors. He managed for various minor league clubs from 1987-1997. 
  • Tim managed the Toronto Blue Jays in 1998 and the club had an 88-74 record (3rd in AL East). He didn't get along with pitching coach Mel Queen and several of his players. Johnson admitted after the 1998 season that stories he had told his players about serving in the Vietnam War weren't true. The Blue Jays initially stood by Johnson but questions arose about his credibility and ability to hold the team together and he was fired on March 17, 1999.
  • After he left the Blue Jays Johnson managed in the Mexican League from 1999-2002 and then managed in various independent leagues from 2004-2010.

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