Wallace Johnson (baseball)
December 25, 1956 |
|September 8, 1981, for the Montreal Expos|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 3, 1990, for the Montreal Expos|
|Runs batted in||59|
Wallace Darnell Johnson (born December 25, 1956 in Gary, Indiana), is an American former professional baseball player and coach. He was a first baseman with the Montreal Expos and San Francisco Giants and Chicago White Sox third base coach and is also known for his skill as a pinch hitter. Johnson was a switch hitter and threw right-handed.
Graduated from Indiana State University with a B.S degree in Accounting. Named to the CoSida Academic All-American team, NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and received the McMillan Memorial Award for leadership. Was a Co-Captain of Indiana State University's first Missouri Valley Conference baseball championship and first appearance in NCAA regional post season play. Led the nation in hitting (.502) during the regular season and was named MVC conference tournament MVP. Named to the Missouri Valley Conference All-Centennial Team and elected to the Indiana State University Hall of Fame in 1985.
Wallace was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the sixth round of the 1979 amateur draft and one of the first Indiana ballplayers selected. He began his professional career in the New York-Penn League that summer; by the next season (1980) he was leading the Florida State League in batting (.334) and stolen bases (58)
Played on the 1981 Denver Bears (AAA) and 1986 Indianapolis Indians (AAA) championship teams. He made his major league debut for the Expos in September 1981 and on October 3, Johnson delivered a pinch-hit triple (scoring 2 runs) off of Mets ace reliever Neil Allen that help propel the team to its first ever NL East title.
He spent part of 1983 with the Giants, having been traded to them on May 25 in exchange for outfielder Mike Vail. The next spring, the Giants released him, and he returned to the Expos as a free agent shortly thereafter.
Johnson led the major leagues in pinch-hits during the period 1987-1990. On August 11, 1990 he was released by the Montreal Expos again and signed with the Oakland Athletics, but he did not appear in any games for the A's. He played his final major league game on August 3, 1990.
He spent three years (1995-1997) coaching in the Atlanta Braves minor league system and five years as the third base coach with the Chicago White Sox but was fired after the 2002 season. During his time as third base coach of the White Sox, Hawk Haarrelson gave him the nickname "Wavin Wally".
Johnson's was an acclaimed pinch-hitter. His pinch-hit two-run triple off Mets closer Neil Allen locked up the lone postseason appearance for the Expos on the second to last day of the 1981 season. He was the Expos all-time pinch-hit leader with 86.