July 6, 1963 |
|July 10, 1987, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 27, 2000, for the New York Yankees|
|Runs batted in||486|
|Career highlights and awards|
Johnson was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduating from Princeton High School, he completed his education at the University of South Alabama. The St. Louis Cardinals drafted him in 6th round of the 1984 amateur draft. In 1986, he led the Class AA Arkansas Travelers with 82 runs, 129 hits, 6 triples, and a league-leading 49 stolen bases. At the age of 24, Johnson broke into the big leagues on July 10, 1987, In 1987 Johnson, playing for the Louisville Redbirds, was the American Association Most Valuable Player. From 1988 to 1995 Johnson played for the Chicago White Sox.
Johnson is the only player in the history of Major League Baseball to lead both the American League and the National League in hits, and he did it in back-to-back seasons. He led the American League in hits in 1995 for the White Sox, and he led the National League in hits in 1996 for the Mets.
From 1991 through 1994, Johnson led the American League in triples, becoming the first player in Major League history to lead his league in triples for four consecutive years. In 1996, he led the National League in triples, becoming the third player in history to lead both leagues in triples (Sam Crawford and Brett Butler being the first two).
As of 2013, he is one of only four players (Crawford, Stan Musial, and Willie Wilson) to lead the league in triples as many as five times. He is also one of a handful of players to collect three triples in one game, doing so on September 23, 1995 in the White Sox' 14-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The three triples were part of a 6-for-6 performance for Johnson, who became the first White Sox to collect six hits in one game since Floyd Robinson in 1962.
His finest season came in 1996 with the New York Mets. That year, he accumulated 227 hits, 21 triples (the highest single season total in that category since 1985), 50 steals, 31 doubles (the only season in which he accumulated at least 20), 69 Runs Batted In, 117 runs scored, and a .333 batting average, all career highs. This was Johnson's only season in which he was selected for the All Star team.
After the Mets, he played with the Chicago Cubs from 1997 to 1999. He was slowed down by injuries during his years with the Cubs and in 2000, he finally ended his career after the New York Yankees sent him to the minor leagues in mid-season. The Yankees won the World Series that year and Johnson was given a World Series ring for his service to the team.
He now resides in Alabama with his wife.
- List of Major League Baseball career stolen bases leaders
- List of Major League Baseball annual triples leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career triples leaders
- List of Major League Baseball triples records
- List of Major League Baseball single-game hits leaders
- Jim Tommey and Kip Ingle, ed. (1987). St. Louis Cardinals 1987 Media Guide. St. Louis National Baseball Club. p. 103.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference