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David Allen Johnson (born January 30, 1943 in Orlando, Floridamarker) is a former second baseman, designated hitter, and manager in Major League Baseball. Johnson is currently a Senior Adviser for the Washington Nationals.


Playing career

In his 13-year major league career, Johnson played for the Baltimore Orioles (1965–1972), Atlanta Braves (1973–1975), Philadelphia Phillies (1977–78) and Chicago Cubs (1978). Also, he played in the Japanese League for the Yomiuri Giants (1975–1976). He batted .261 with 136 home runs, 609 RBI, 564 runs, 1252 hits, 242 doubles, 18 triples, and 33 stolen bases in 1435 games. Johnson was a 4 time All Star, and three-time Gold Glove Award winner. Johnson was also a member of the Orioles 1966, and 1970 World Championship teams. Johnson's best statistical year came in 1973 when he tied Rogers Hornsby's record for most single-season home runs by a second baseman with 42 (he actually hit 43 that year, but one came as a pinch hitter - The Sporting News Baseball Record Book, 2007 p. 23).

Managing career

Johnson managed the New York Mets (1984–1990), Cincinnati Reds (1993–1995), Baltimore Orioles (1996–1997), and Los Angeles Dodgers (1999–2000).

New York Mets

Johnson began his managerial career in in the New York Mets farm system. He won pennants in each of his three seasons in the minors, and within a few years was manager of the Mets' top farm team, the Tidewater Tides. He took over the parent club, which hadn't won a pennant since , in 1984, and was eager for success. Johnson went on to become the first National League manager to win at least 90 games in each of his first five seasons, with the highlight being winning the World Series in against the Boston Red Sox. Interestingly, while with the Baltimore Orioles, Johnson made the final out to clinch the Mets' first World Championship in . However, Johnson rankled Mets management with his easygoing style. When the Mets struggled early in the 1990 season, he was fired. He is still the winningest manager in Mets history.

Cincinnati Reds

After more than two seasons out of baseball, the Cincinnati Reds hired him 44 games into the 1993 season. As was the case with the Mets, Johnson revived the Reds almost immediately. He led the team to the National League Central lead at the time of the 1994 players' strike, and won the first official NL Central title in .

However, early in the 1995 season, Reds owner Marge Schott announced Johnson would not return in 1996, regardless of how the Reds did. Schott named former Reds third baseman Ray Knight (who had also played for Johnson on the Mets championship team) as bench coach, with the understanding that he would take over as manager in 1996.

Johnson and Schott had never gotten along, and relations had deteriorated to the point that he'd nearly been fired after the 1994 season. By most accounts, the final straw came because Schott didn't approve of Johnson living with his then-fiancée, Susan, before they were married.

Baltimore Orioles

Almost immediately, Johnson returned to Baltimore as the Orioles' manager. Again, he breathed new life into a struggling franchise as the Orioles earned a wild-card playoff berth in (the Orioles' first trip to the postseason since winning the 1983 World Series) and the American League East title in .

However, Johnson and Orioles owner Peter Angelos never got along; the two men almost never spoke to each other. The final straw reportedly came when Johnson fined Roberto Alomar for skipping a team banquet in April 1997 and an exhibition game against the Rochester Red Wings (the Orioles' top farm team at the time) during the 1997 All-Star Break. Johnson ordered Alomar to pay the fine by making out a check for a fine to a charity run by Johnson's wife, Susan. However, Alomar donated the money to another charity after players' union lawyers advised him of the possible conflict of interest. In negotiations after the season, Johnson was prepared to admit he'd made an error in judgment regarding the fine, but Angelos demanded that Johnson admit that he'd acted recklessly in not leaving the decision to him. Johnson refused to do so, and offered his resignation--which was accepted by Angelos on the same day that Johnson was named American League Manager of the Year.

Los Angeles Dodgers

In 1999, Johnson was hired as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had beaten Johnson's heavily favored Mets in seven games in the National League Championship Series. Unfortunately, Johnson suffered the first full losing season of his managerial career, finishing in third place eight games under .500. While the Dodgers rebounded to second place the next year, it was not enough to save Johnson's job.


Johnson briefly managed the Netherlands national team in 2003 during the absence of Robert Eenhoorn, then served as a bench coach under Eenhoorn at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He then became manager of Team USA, where he managed the United States team to a seventh-place finish out of an 18-team field in the Baseball World Cup, held in The Netherlands. The team finished tied for second in its group during group play with a 6–2 record before falling, 11–3, to eventual winner and 24-time World Cup champion Cuba in the quarterfinals. A subsequent 9–0 loss to Nicaragua put the Americans into the seventh-place game with Puerto Rico, where they prevailed with an 11–3 win. Johnson also served as bench coach for Team USA during the World Baseball Classic. He managed the USA baseball team at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

On June 7, 2006, Johnson was hired by the Washington Nationals as a consultant to team general manager Jim Bowden. Bowden was the general manager of the Cincinnati Reds when Johnson served as the team's manager.

Speculation that Johnson might be hired as manager of the Baltimore Orioles ended on August 22, 2007. The Orioles made interim manager Dave Trembley the permanent replacement for Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo, who was fired on June 18, 2007. Johnson was the last skipper to guide the Orioles to a winning season.

In 2009 he managed Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

In November, 2009 Johnson was hired as a Senior Adviser by Washington Nationals.

Personal life

Johnson's daughter, Andrea, was a nationally-ranked amateur surfer in the late 1980s. However, Andrea died in 2005 from septic shock.


  • 4-time All-Star (1968–70 & 1973)
  • 3-time Gold Glove Award winner (1969–71)
  • Hit 43 home runs for the Braves (1973), 42 as a second baseman (1 came as a pinch-hitter), tying Rogers Hornsby's all-time mark of 42 for any second baseman.
  • Johnson teamed with shortstop Mark Belanger as duo winner of two Gold Gloves, joining a select list of eight shortstop-second baseman combinations have won the honor in the same season while playing together (1969, 1971). Third baseman Brooks Robinson also was in the middle of his record 16 straight Gold Glove streak when Johnson and Belanger won their awards.
  • 1997 American League Manager of the Year Award winner
  • Johnson, batting against Jerry Koosman, was the last batter of the 1969 World Series - flying out to give the Mets their first World Championship. He would go on to manage the Mets to their second, with Jesse Orosco striking out the final batter. Coincidentally, the two pitchers had been traded for each other after the 1978 season. Johnson would manage Orosco again in Baltimore, as Orosco signed with the Orioles as a free agent in 1995, a year before Johnson arrived.
  • Although never known for exceptional power, in 1973 Johnson became part of the first trio of teammates ever to all hit 40 home runs in the same season when he hit 43, Darrell Evans hit 41, and Hank Aaron hit 40. Johnson's second-highest was 18 home runs in a season - considered to be a good number for second baseman, itself.
  • He once hit two grand slam home runs as a pinch-hitter in one season, for the Phillies.
  • In the 1966 World Series, Johnson earned the distinction of being the last person to get a hit off of Sandy Koufax.

Managerial records

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
NYM 1984 90 72 .556 2nd in NL East - - - -
NYM 1985 98 64 .605 2nd in NL East - - - -
NYM 1986 108 54 .667 1st in NL East 8 5 .615 Won World Series over BOS
NYM 1987 92 70 .568 2nd in NL East - - - -
NYM 1988 100 60 .526 1st in NL East 3 4 .429 Lost NLCS to LA
NYM 1989 87 75 .537 2nd in NL East - - - -
NYM 1990 20 22 .476 2nd in NL East - - - (fired)
CIN 1993 53 65 .449 5th in NL West - - - -
CIN 1994 66 48 .579 1st in NL Central - - - No Playoffs
CIN 1995 85 59 .590 1st in NL Central 3 4 .429 Lost NLCS to ATL
BAL 1996 84 78 .543 2nd in AL East 4 5 .444 Lost ALCS to NYY
BAL 1997 98 64 .605 1st in AL East 5 5 .500 Lost ALCS to CLE
LA 1999 77 85 .475 3rd in NL West - - - -
LA 2000 86 76 .531 2nd in NL West - - - -
Total 1148 888 .564

See also


  1. Kepner, Tyler. " Davey Johnson Has a Soft Spot for Dutch Baseball Team." The New York Times, 11 March 2009.

External links

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