Friday, November 11, 2011

RBI (44) A TTM champ who came off the bench...

And he was definitely a much appreciated guy to have on that bench. Slugging catcher-first baseman-designated hitter Cliff Johnson had a very solid career that was highlighted by his home run hitting powers and a dash of infamy.

Drafted by the Houston Astros in the 5th round of the 1966 draft, Johnson wouldn't make his debut until 1972 and became a regular contributer in 1974. Once he finally broke into the regular roster Johnson made the most of it and stayed in the Majors for 15 seasons. Despite playing for seven different teams, Johnson made the most of his time with the Yankees winning World Series Championships in 1977 and 1978. His tenure with the Yankees came to an end when he famously got in a locker room fight with future Hall of Famer Goose Gossage in the showers after Goose began to tease him. The jokes became nasty and eventually turned to blows with Johnson breaking Gossage's thumb resulting in the Boss shipping him out to finish the 1979 season with Cleveland.

Johnson retired with a .258 career average, 699 RBI, and 196 Home Runs. What's most impressive of those homers, is that 20 of them were pinch hit, good enough for the MLB record until Matt Stairs broke the mark in 2010.
Cliff Johnson signed this 1977 Topps card I got from the Topps Diamond Anniversary. He autographed the card after 55 days to the card sent to his home address.

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