Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Reading the Competition: 1978 Topps #317 Dave Johnson

This week the Phillies are hosting the reigning NL East champion Washington Nationals for a 4 game set. The Nats will be led for one last season by one time Phillies infielder Davey Johnson

1978 Topps #317 Dave Johnson

Davey Johnson put together a nice career the bulk of which he spent with the Orioles including two World Championship Teams (1966, 1970). The four time all-star reached the postseason a total of five times, four with the Orioles and once with the 1977 Phillies.

He collected 1200+ hits including 136 homers across 13 seasons. It appears that Davey Johnson was pretty good at working pitchers enabling him to grind out a decent .340 OBP despite only being a .261 hitter. He was also good in the field collecting 3 gold gloves at 2nd base.      

Davey Johnson moved from Baltimore to Atlanta in 1973 and had a truly unique season - As an Oriole he had 66 dingers in just under 3500 ABs. His first year with the Braves he hit 43 (2nd to Willie Stargell 44).  That would be a call for a PED test if it happened today.

As a part time player for the 1977 Phillies Johnson batted .321 with good numbers for his meager 156 ABs.  Those numbers fell off in 1978 he was traded to the Cubs where is playing career ended.

I have no idea what gets a guy into the Hall of Fame as a manager, but I think Davey Johnson may be qualified.  He has managed for five different franchises, and won division titles with four of them. He has won 5 division titles (6 if you count the 1994 Reds strike shortened season) and he of course was the leader of the 1986 Mets squad that beat the Red Sox.  1300+ Wins and counting. 

1967 Topps #363 Dave Johnson

Davey Johnson's rookie card is 1965 Topps #473 which is shared with Paul Blair. His 1966 #579 is also a shared card so he doesn't show up solo on a card until 1967 Topps #363  (above). The amazing thing here is after showing up on 2 Rookie Stars cards he finally gets a solo card and it has a rookie cup. This means that Topps issued cards specifying Johnson as a rookie for 3 consecutive years.  The 1957 #363 card is also Johnson's first card that is not part of a more limited hi-number series.

 I think the 1978 Topps card at the top is the only one with Johnson representing the Phillies. His last card as a player is 1979 #513 with the Cubs. My research in the Topps Baseball Card Database indicates that every card lists him as Dave Johnson, rather then the Davey Johnson that I have always heard.

baseball card database       

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a thousand words

a thousand words
2008 World Champions