Thursday, October 27, 2016

no. 590 - alex johnson

Who is the man: Alex Johnson was coming off the best season of his career when this card was issued. He batted .329 to win the American League title on the final day of the 1970 season. But in 1971 he was in the midst of his most controversial and tumultuous year.

Can ya dig it: I hope you know that I love bat-rack photos.

Right on: I don't know what's going on here, but it appears that the Angels are wrapping up batting practice. Johnson looks like he's exiting the dugout with his bat and glove and perhaps there's a clubhouse man behind him cleaning up.

You see that cat Johnson is a bad mother: Johnson was an immense talent and multiple teams were willing to overlook his difficulties to acquire him. He only really fulfilled those expectations in 1970 when he compiled 202 hits and recorded the only batting title in Angels history.

Shut your mouth: Johnson's inability to get along with management and teammates was an established habit by the time he arrived with the Angels. When manager Lefty Phillips was asked to compare Johnson to another controversial player, Richie Allen of the Phillies, Phillips scoffed, saying, "Once you get Richie Allen on the field, your problems are over. When Johnson gets to the field, your problems are just beginning."

No one understands him but his woman: After repeated fines and benchings, the Angels suspended Johnson after he failed to run out a groundball in June of 1971. A grievance was filed by Marvin Miller on the behalf of Johnson that said that Johnson was emotionally troubled and should have been disabled rather than suspended. An arbitrator sided with Johnson.

(A word about the back): Here we go again with "new" marks. Every current record, or mark, that is set is new. Redundancy 101.

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