|Birth Day:||December 7, 1942|
|Death Date:||Feb 28, 2015 (age 72)|
Left fielder who played for eight teams from 1964 to 1976, debuting with the Philadelphia Phillies, and ending his career with the Detroit Tigers.
As per our current Database, Alex Johnson died on Feb 28, 2015 (age 72).
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Alex Johnson was a star football player in high school, but turned down a football scholarship from Michigan State so that he could sign with the Phillies.
Johnson married Julia Augusta in 1963, and they adopted daughter Jennifer in 1969 and had son Alex Jr. in 1972. Alex and Julia divorced after his baseball career ended. After Johnson retired, he returned to Detroit and in 1985, after his father's death, took over Johnson Trucking Service, which was founded by his father, Arthur Johnson, in the 1940s. The company rents dump trucks to construction companies. In 1998, he told Sports Illustrated "Do I enjoy my life?" Johnson asks rhetorically. "I enjoy not being on an airplane all the time. I enjoy not having to face everything I did. I just want to help people with their vehicles. It's a nice, normal life — the thing I've always wanted."
Johnson returned to the Cardinals in 1967, batting .223 with one home run and twelve RBIs mostly as a pinch hitter and back up for Roger Maris in right field. The Cardinals defeated the Boston Red Sox in the World Series that year, though Johnson did not appear in the post-season. Just before spring training 1968, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Dick Simpson.
Pete Rose, the left fielder in Cincinnati in 1967, was shifted to right field for 1968. Mack Jones, a left-handed hitter acquired from the Atlanta Braves shortly before Johnson, was the early favorite to inherit the left field job. While Johnson was labelled as "moody" and "uncoachable" during his days with the Phillies and Cardinals, he impressed Reds manager Dave Bristol that spring and was given the starting job in left field even though a lefthanded bat would have been more suitable for the Reds' line-up.
Though his potential to hit for power was recognized throughout his early career, he entered the 1969 season having hit just 17 career home runs. He matched that total in 1969, while also driving in a career high 88 runs and scoring a career high 86 runs. He also finished sixth in the N.L. with a .315 batting average.
While more "emotional disturbance" followed Johnson to his new club when Ruiz was killed in an auto accident on February 9, 1972 (Johnson attended the funeral), Johnson got off to a fast start for the Indians, as his batting average reached .328 on May 6. But a 6-for-66 slump brought his average down to .208 by June. Johnson appeared to be rebounding when he learned that Phillips, who had been rehired by the Angels as a scout, suffered a fatal asthma attack on June 12. He then went into a 5-for-37 slump that dropped his season average to .219.
Johnson held out for a new contract with the Indians the following spring. Unable to reach an agreement, they traded him to the Texas Rangers for pitchers Rich Hinton and Vince Colbert. Rangers manager Whitey Herzog made it clear upon his team's acquisition of Johnson that he would release Johnson immediately if he turned out to be a discipline problem with his club. However, with the American League's institution of the designated hitter rule in 1973, Johnson was able to provide strong offensive production for the Rangers without hindering his team defensively, and soon won over his new manager. He appeared in 116 games at DH while spelling an occasional day off for Rico Carty in left in an additional forty games, and batted .287 with eight home runs and 68 RBIs. His 179 hits were the fifth most in the AL, and he held the Senators/Rangers franchise record in that category until 1979.
Johnson became an everyday outfielder again when Billy Martin took over as Rangers manager toward the end of the 1973 season. At first, Johnson and Martin got along, but by the time the Rangers sold Johnson's contract to the New York Yankees on September 9, 1974, Martin had also gotten fed up with him.
Johnson died on February 28, 2015, from complications of prostate cancer.
Currently, Alex Johnson is 80 years, 3 months and 16 days old. Alex Johnson will celebrate 81st birthday on a Thursday 7th of December 2023.
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