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Reed Johnson

A photo of Reed Johnson.

Reed Cameron Johnson (born December 8, 1976 in Riverside, California) is a retired Major League Baseball outfielder.

College career[]

Johnson grew up in Temecula, a suburb of Riverside, California, and attended Temecula Valley High School where he participated in baseball and soccer. He was an All-League and an All-County selection.

Johnson attended college at Cal State Fullerton and was named an Academic All-American. He also set records by being the first Cal State Fullerton player to score 100 runs and collect 100 hits in a season.

Professional career[]

Toronto Blue Jays[]

Johnson was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 17th round of the 1999 MLB Draft. In the minors, he was a Southern League All-Star in 2001 with the Tennessee Smokies, while hitting .314 with 13 home runs and 74 RBI. Johnson made his Major League debut on April 17, 2003 against the New York Yankees as a pinch runner. He recorded his first major league hit on April 20, 2003 against Boston Red Sox pitcher Casey Fossum and his first home run on May 17, 2003 against Jeremy Affeldt of the Kansas City Royals . He finished his rookie season, with a .294 batting average, 10 home runs, and 52 runs batted in.[1] Johnson also won the American League Rookie of the Month Award for the month of September.[2]

He is one of only five batters, through August 2009, to have hit both a leadoff and walkoff home run in the same game (having done so in 2003), the others being Billy Hamilton (1893), Victor Power (1957), Darin Erstad (2000), and Ian Kinsler (2009).[3]

Johnson extended his tenure with the Blue Jays on December 7, 2005, after signing a one-year extension worth $1,425,000.

At the start the 2006 season, Johnson was platooned with Frank Catalanotto in left field, as they had been for the previous two seasons. In a Toronto Star article, Johnson was quoted as saying, "I train so that I can play every day. I don't train to be a fourth outfielder, or there would be a lot less training. I wouldn't be waking up as early. I wouldn't be trying to be in the shape that I'm in. I know my body can take the pounding of an everyday season".

In 2006, Johnson led all leadoff hitters in the American League with a .390 on-base percentage[4] and also had a .319 batting average.

One of Johnson's more dubious honors is his propensity for being hit by pitches. Consistently among the Blue Jays leaders in being hit, in 2006 Johnson moved past Ed Sprague to take second on the Blue Jays all-time hit by pitch list, trailing only Carlos Delgado.[5] He is also one of several players to be hit a major-league record three times in one game; Johnson was hit three times in a game against the Texas Rangers on April 15, 2005. He equaled this feat again on April 7, 2006, against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.[6][7]

In 2008, the presence of veteran Matt Stairs probably had Johnson relegated to a platoon situation. Also, the signing of all-star shortstop David Eckstein removed Johnson from his familiar role as leadoff hitter. The Blue Jays also signed outfielder Shannon Stewart to a minor league contract. Stewart, who played in 855 games for Toronto from 1995 to 2003, was a dependable and consistent force at the top of the Blue Jays lineup for many years, although by this point he was considered a liability in the field at times because of an injury suffered playing football which greatly reduced his throwing strength. His presence at spring training made Johnson's role all the more uncertain. Johnson was released by the Jays on March 23, and replaced by Stewart. Johnson's popularity with Blue Jays fans was shown on June 13, 2008 when he pinch-hit in the top of the 9th inning, and was giving a standing ovation by the fans at the Rogers Centre.

Chicago Cubs[]

On March 25, he signed a one year deal with the Chicago Cubs. Johnson platooned in center field with Jim Edmonds. Johnson "batted in" a game winning run after he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded on June 12, against the Atlanta Braves.[8] During a crucial game in the 2008 season against the Milwaukee Brewers, Johnson executed a perfect hard slide into second base that prevented a double play, and allowed the Cubs to take a one-run lead.[9] When Johnson returned to Rogers Centre to play the Toronto Blue Jays on June 13, 2008, he received a long standing ovation from Blue Jays fans. [10]

During a game early in the 2009 season, also against the Brewers, Johnson showed versatility on the field by catching a Prince Fielder drive that had cleared the wall, preventing the Brewers from tying the game on a grand slam. He was placed on the 15-day DL on July 30 that same year with a left foot fracture.

Los Angeles Dodgers[]

On February 1, 2010, Johnson signed a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers to replace Juan Pierre as the team's fourth outfielder.[11]

Personal life[]

Growing up, Johnson participated in gymnastics. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.


External links[]