Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Bob Johnson (baseball)
Robert Lee Johnson, Jr. (November 26, 1905 - July 6, 1982), nicknamed "Indian Bob", was an American left fielder in Major League Baseball. A native of Pryor Creek, Oklahoma, he grew up in Tacoma, Washington and made the city his home. His nickname was derived from his lineage, one-quarter Cherokee. He batted and threw right-handed. His brother, outfielder Roy Johnson , played for the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Boston Braves from 1929-38.
Despite playing only 13 major league seasons, and not making it to the majors until he was 27, Johnson compiled a .296 career batting average with 288 home runs and 1283 RBI in 1863 games. A first-rate left fielder with a powerful and accurate throwing arm, Johnson hit over .300 five times and .290 or better in four other seasons; scored over 100 runs six times and scored at least 91 in four other seasons; drove in 100 runs in eight seasons, and at least 92 in two others. He also set an American League record by knocking in six runs in an inning with a home run and a single off White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton in 1937.
Johnson played for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1933-42, after Connie Mack had traded away most of his star players. In 1943, he was sent to the Washington Senators for outfielder Bobby Estalella and cash. At the end of the season, his contract was purchased by the Boston Red Sox. At 38, Johnson had a good season for the Sox hitting .324 with 106 RBI and 65 extra bases in 144 games. Selected seven times an All-Star, he played in the non-official 1945 All-Star Game as well, and retired at the end of the season.
Johnson was one of the most consistent players of the 1930's and 40's, and missed out on adding to his totals by not getting a chance to play until he was 27. Many modern baseball fans don't even know of him, but he put up good numbers in 13 years before quietly retiring. During most of his career, he was overshadowed by bigger stars. In 1939, he finished third in the batting race with .338 behind Joe DiMaggio (.381) and Jimmie Foxx (.360), and over Charlie Keller (.334), Ted Williams (.327) and Charlie Gehringer (.325). Then, in 1944, his .324 was surpassed only by the .327 of Lou Boudreau and .325 of Bobby Doerr. Besides this, he appeared in 11 of his 13 seasons among the top 10 American League home run-hitters, and finished in the top ten in MVP voting three times.
After retiring, Johnson spent five more seasons in the minor leagues playing and managing for the Tacoma Tigers.
Indian Bob Johnson died in Tacoma, Washington of heart failure at age 76.
- 7-time All-Star (1935, 1938-40, 1942-44)
- 1945 All-Star Game (Non-Official) selection
- Top 10 MVP Award (8th, 1939; 5th, 1943; 10th, 1944)
- Set an American League record with 6 RBI in the same inning (1937)
- Tied an AL record with six hits in a game (June 16, 1934)
- Led league in On base percentage (.431, 1944)
- Led league in OPS (.959, 1944)
- 11-time top 10 in home runs (1933-41, 1944-45)
- Had a 26-game hitting streak (1934)
- Hit for the cycle (July 6, 1944)
- Compiled an outstanding career 1.236 walk-to-strikeout rate (1075-to-851)
- 3-time spoiled no-hitter games, getting the only hit for his club, one of them with a homer off Yankees pitching ace Lefty Gómez (1937)
- Indian Bob Johnson is one of three players in MLB history to drive home all of their club's runs in a single game (minimum 8 runs).
- On June 14, 1924 first baseman George Kelly hits three home runs to drive in all eight New York Giants runs in an 8-6 win over the Reds.
- Johnson matched this one-man offensive on June 12, 1938 when the Athletics won the Browns 8-3, as Johnson batted in all the runs with three home runs (one a grand slam, his second in the month) and a single.
- The mark was surpassed on September 2, 1996, but in a ten-innings game, when Mike Greenwell got all nine RBI in a Boston 9-8 victory over Seattle.
- Bob Carroll, whose writing I enjoy very much, commented on this phenomenon in his 1985 article for the National Pastime ("For the Hall of Fame: Twelve Good Men"). "Consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds," wrote Carroll, "but it can also make certain ballplayers nigh unto invisible. Indian Bob Johnson never had one of those super seasons that make everyone sit up and whistle. While phenoms came, collected their MVP trophies, and faded, he just kept plodding along hitting .300, with a couple dozen homers and a hundred ribbies year after year...like a guy punching a time clock." --Bill James, excerpt from his book Whatever Happened to the Hall of Fame?, Fireside, 1995
- Hitting for the cycle
- List of lifetime home run leaders through history
- Top 500 home run hitters of all time
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details