Darrell Johnson

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For the American football player, see Daryl Johnson. For the basketball player, see Darryl Johnson.
Darrell Johnson
Catcher
Born: (1928-08-25)August 25, 1928
Horace, Nebraska
Died: May 3, 2004(2004-05-03) (aged 75)
Fairfield, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 20, 1952 for the St. Louis Browns
Last MLB appearance
June 6, 1962 for the Baltimore Orioles
Career statistics
Batting average .234
Home runs 2
Runs batted in 28
Teams

As player

As coach

As manager

Career highlights and awards

Darrell Dean Johnson (August 25, 1928 – May 3, 2004) was an American Major League Baseball catcher, coach, manager and scout.

Playing career[edit]

Johnson was born in Horace, Nebraska, and made his major league debut on April 20, 1952. He played as a catcher in six major league seasons between 1952 and 1962. He was listed as ft 6 in (1.85 m), 180 lb (82 kg), bats right, throws right.

Johnson graduated from Harvard, Nebraska, High School in 1944. He was signed by the St. Louis Browns as an amateur free agent in 1949, and played for the Browns, Chicago White Sox, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles, who released him on June 12, 1962, ending his playing career. He hit .234 lifetime, appeared in the 1961 World Series for the Reds against the Yankees and had two singles in four at-bats as his Reds lost to the slugging Yanks of Maris, Mantle and Skowron four games to one.

Manager of Red Sox, Mariners and Rangers[edit]

Johnson had more success as a manager, leading three different teams during eight seasons. His biggest success was as manager of the Boston Red Sox from 1974 through 1976, when he compiled a record of 220–188 for a .539 winning percentage. He guided the Red Sox to a 95–65 .594 mark in 1975 and a first-place finish in the AL East. The Sox swept the Oakland A's in the playoffs, 3–0, then lost to the Cincinnati "Big Red Machine" in the thrilling World Series, four games to three. But he was fired in favor of Don Zimmer in on July 18, 1976, when the Red Sox slumped to a 41–45 record.

He was the first skipper of the Seattle Mariners from their inception in 1977 to August 3, 1980, and also managed the Texas Rangers in from July 30, 1982, through the end of the season. He finished with a 472–590 win-loss record for a .444 career percentage as a manager.

Coach and scout[edit]

Johnson's playing career was interrupted by an eleven-month stint as an MLB coach with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1960–1961.

After playing in eight games, with three plate appearances, for the 1960 Cardinals, he was released as a player on August 5 and added to the coaching staff of manager Solly Hemus, then reappointed for 1961. When the Redbirds fired Hemus on July 6, 1961, Johnson was released with him. Three days later, he signed a player's contract with the last-place Philadelphia Phillies and caught 21 games for them in five weeks before being sold to the Cincinnati Reds on August 14.

He finished the year as a backup catcher for the National League champion Reds, appearing in 20 games and batting .315 with 17 hits. He then went two-for-four (both singles) in the 1961 World Series against his old team, the Yankees, who won in five games. Cincinnati released him only a few days into the 1962 season, and he signed with the Orioles as a backup catcher before retiring as a player in June and serving out the year as Baltimore's bullpen coach.

He then became a minor league manager in the Oriole system and won championships with the Rochester Red Wings of the Triple-A International League (1964) and Elmira Pioneers of the Double-A Eastern League (1966). After a year scouting for the 1967 Yankees, he was named pitching coach of the defending AL champion Red Sox under Dick Williams for 1968. After Williams was fired in September 1969, Johnson was retained by the Red Sox as a scout in 1970,[1] then managed Boston's Triple-A Louisville Colonels in 1971–1972. He then became the first manager of the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox, finishing 78–68 and winning his second Governors' Cup, emblematic of the International League's playoff championship, in his only PawSox season (1973). That championship earned him a promotion to the parent club as Red Sox manager.

After his firing in Seattle in 1980, he was the third-base coach for Don Zimmer's Rangers starting in 1981 before taking over for Zimmer as manager on July 30, 1982.[2] Six years earlier, the roles had been reversed when third-base coach Zimmer succeeded Johnson as manager in Boston on July 18, 1976. He then moved to the New York Mets as a major league coach, minor league coordinator of instruction, and finally as a longtime scout.

He died at 75 of leukemia in Fairfield, California.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Clyde King
Rochester Red Wings manager
1963–1965
Succeeded by
Earl Weaver
Preceded by
Earl Weaver
Elmira Pioneers manager
1966
Succeeded by
Billy DeMars
Preceded by
Sal Maglie
Boston Red Sox pitching coach
1968–1969
Succeeded by
Charlie Wagner
Preceded by
Billy Gardner
Louisville Colonels manager
1971–1972
Succeeded by
Franchise relocated
Preceded by
AAA franchise established
Pawtucket Red Sox manager
1973
Succeeded by
Joe Morgan
Preceded by
Frank Lucchesi
Texas Rangers third-base coach
1981–1982
Succeeded by
Wayne Terwilliger