Charles Johnson (catcher)

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Charles Johnson
Catcher
Born: (1971-07-20) July 20, 1971 (age 43)
Fort Pierce, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 6, 1994 for the Florida Marlins
Last MLB appearance
June 11, 2005 for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Career statistics
Batting average .245
Home runs 167
Runs batted in 570
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Charles Edward Johnson, Jr. (born July 20, 1971) is an American former professional baseball player.[1] He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball with the Florida Marlins (1994–1998, 2001–2002), the Los Angeles Dodgers (1998), the Baltimore Orioles (1999–2000), the Chicago White Sox (2000), the Colorado Rockies (2003–2004), and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2005). Johnson was considered as one of the best defensive catchers of his era, winning four consecutive Gold Glove Awards between 1995 and 1998.[1][2] He is one of only three catchers in Major League history to catch at least 100 games in a single season without committing an error.[3]

Early life and major League career[edit]

Johnson was born in Fort Pierce, Florida where he graduated from Fort Pierce Westwood High School in Fort Pierce, Florida, in 1989. He then enrolled at the University of Miami, where he played for the Miami Hurricanes baseball team. He was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the first round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft.[4] He played with the A-level Kane County Cougars in 1993 and the AA Portland Sea Dogs.

In 1995, Johnson's reputation as a skilled defensive player was solidified when he became the fourth catcher in Major League history to win a Gold Glove Award in his rookie season, joining Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk and Sandy Alomar, Jr.[5] Although his offensive statistics weren't impressive, he made up for those shortcomings by helping his team with his superior defensive skills.[6] In 1996, Johnson was the Marlins catcher when Al Leiter threw a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies.[7] Johnson set a Major League record in 1997 by playing in 123 games without committing a single error, earning him his first All-Star selection, and helping the Marlins win the 1997 World Series against the Cleveland Indians.[8][9][10][11] Johnson led the Marlins in the Series with 10 hits, batting .357 including one home run.[12] Along with winning his third consecutive Gold Glove Award in 1997, he also caught his second no hitter when Kevin Brown no hit the Giants on June 10.[13]

In 1998, the Marlins traded Johnson along with Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenreich, Gary Sheffield and Manuel Barriosto to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile.[14] After finishing the season with the Dodgers, he played for two years in the American League with the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox.[14] He had his best year offensively in 2000, when he had a .304 batting average along with 31 home runs and 91 RBIs, during a season in which he played 84 games for the Orioles and 44 games for the White Sox.[1]

In 2001 he was traded back to the Marlins, where he hit .285 with 16 home runs by mid-season to earn his second All-Star berth.[15][16] He would also catch his third no hitter when AJ Burnett no hit the San Diego Padres on May 12.[17] The only Marlins no-hitter Johnson did not catch for Florida was in 2006, when Aníbal Sánchez threw a no-hitter in Dolphin Stadium against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

After the 2002 season, the Marlins traded Johnson to the Colorado Rockies where he played for two seasons. On April 27, 2004, he, rookie Matt Holliday, and Jeromy Burnitz combined to slug back-to-back-to-back home runs against the Marlins, the sixth such occasion in franchise history.[18] After playing for Colorado, he ended his career with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005.[14]

Career statistics[edit]

In a twelve-season major league career covering 1,188 games, Johnson had a .245 batting average along with 167 home runs, 570 runs batted in and a .993 fielding percentage.[1] His .993 fielding percentage ranks 16th all-time among major league catchers.[19] Along with his four Gold Glove Awards, Johnson twice led National League catchers in fielding percentage, and once each in baserunners caught stealing and assists.[1] During his playing career, he ranked second only to Iván Rodríguez in throwing out baserunners, with a 39% average.[20] He earned two All-Star berths as well as winning a World Series during his career. His three no hitters caught ties him with several other players for second place on the all-time list behind the four no hitters caught by Jason Varitek.[21] Johnson played more games as a catcher than any other player in Marlins history (582).[22]

He now lives in Miami with his wife, Rhonda, and their two sons, Brandon and Beau. Johnson is a cousin of former Major Leaguer Fred McGriff.[23] He is a member of the Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Charles Johnson at Baseball Reference". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  2. ^ ''Never Underestimate A Good Defensive Catcher'', by Al Doyle, Baseball Digest, June 1997, Vol. 56, No. 6, ISSN 0005-609X. Google Books. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Giants catcher Mike Matheny announces retirement". mlb.com. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "1992 Major League Baseball Draft at mlb.com". Mlb.mlb.com. September 8, 1998. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  5. ^ ''Charles Johnson: Marlins' Biggest Catch'', by Gordon Edes, Baseball Digest, February 1998, Vol. 57, No. 2, ISSN 0005-609X. Google Books. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  6. ^ ''For Catchers, The Name of the Game is Defense'', by George Vass, Baseball Digest, May 2005, Vol. 64, No. 3, ISSN 0005-609X. Google Books. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  7. ^ "May 11, 1996 Rockies-Marlins box score at Baseball Reference". Baseball-reference.com. May 11, 1996. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  8. ^ Tom Verducci (September 22, 1997). "''Somebody's Perfect'', by Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated, September 22, 1997". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Catcher Fielding Records at The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers". Members.tripod.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  10. ^ "1997 All-Star Game at Baseball Reference". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  11. ^ "1997 World Series at Baseball Reference". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Charles Johnson post-season batting statistics at Baseball Reference". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  13. ^ "June 10, 1997 Marlins-Giants box score at Baseball Reference". Baseball-reference.com. June 10, 1997. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b c "Charles Johnson Trades and Transactions at Baseball Almanac". Baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Charles Johnson at the Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers". Members.tripod.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  16. ^ "2001 All-Star Game at Baseball Reference". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  17. ^ "May 12, 2001 Marlins-Padres box score at Baseball Reference". Baseball-reference.com. May 12, 2001. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Matt Holliday stats, video highlights, photos, bio (2004 highlights)". MLB.com. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Career Fielding Leaders at Catcher". Baseball-reference.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  20. ^ ''Catching'', by John Lowe, Baseball Digest, July 2001, Vol. 60, No. 7, ISSN 0005-609X. Google Books. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  21. ^ "No hitters Caught at The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers". Members.tripod.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  22. ^ "Most Games Caught For Team at The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers". Members.tripod.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Charles Johnson at www.retrosheet.org". Retrosheet.org. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame". Web.minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved November 20, 2011. 

External links[edit]