Ken Johnson, Baseball Player Dies at 82

Ken Johnson Baseball Player Dies at 82

Ken Johnson Baseball Player passed away on Saturday after a long illness. He was 82.

Kenneth Johnson Jr. said his father had been bedridden with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and that he died after contracting a kidney infection.

Johnson’s 13-year career included stints with seven teams, including the Colt .45s/Astros.

For three seasons in the heart of his career (1965-67), pitching for the Astros and the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, Johnson was an effective starter, going 43-27 with 26 complete games. However, it was on April 23, 1964, while pitching for Houston, then known as the Colt .45s, against Cincinnati that he claimed his spot in history.

Johnson, a righthander who featured a knuckleball to go along with a fastball and breaking pitches, pitched a brilliant game, striking out nine, walking two and mowing down a lineup that included two All-Stars – catcher Johnny Edwards and shortstop Leo Cardenas – and two future Hall of Famers – Pete Rose and Frank Robinson

The Reds hit only three balls out of the infield. However, in the top of the ninth inning, Johnson helped author his own undoing. With one out, he fielded a bunt by Rose and threw wildly to first, allowing Rose to reach second. Rose scored two batters later on an error by second baseman Nellie Fox

In addition to the Colt .45s/Astros and the Braves, Johnson also played for the Reds, for whom he pitched two-thirds of an inning in the 1961 World Series; the Yankees; the Cubs; and the Montreal Expos. Overall, he pitched in 334 games with a record of 91-106 and an earned run average of 3.46.

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