Sunday, October 7, 2012

Jerry Johnson (#253)

Here is Jerry Johnson's rookie card. It's also his only card as a Phillie. Johnson was traded to the Cardinals after the '69 season in the Richie Allen/Curt Flood deal.

Jerry was signed by the Mets in 1963, and pitched 5 seasons in their farm system. A reliever in his first 4 seasons, he became a starter in 1967, compiling a 10-13 record in 26 starts for double-A Williamsport. After the season, the Phillies selected him in the minor-league draft.

Jerry began the 1968 season in triple-A, but with a 7-1 record and 1.95 ERA after 10 starts, he was summoned to the big club, making his debut with a relief appearance on July 17th against the Cubs. He made 11 starts in the second half of the season, and wound up with a 4-4 record.

In 1969, Johnson moved up to #4 starter after Chris Short missed the final 95% of the season with a bad back. He compiled a 6-13 record in 33 games, and was thrown into the off-season trade with the Cardinals. After leaving the Phillies, Johnson was primarily a reliever for the rest of his career.

Jerry split the 1970 season between the Cardinals, their AAA team in Tulsa, and the San Francisco Giants. In 1971, he bounced back with a 12-9 record and 18 saves in 67 relief appearances as the Giants' closer, and finished 6th in the Cy Young voting!

After another season with the Giants, Johnson pitched a year each in Cleveland and Houston, followed by 2 seasons in San Diego. He also spent significant time in the minors while with the Astros and Padres.

Johnson wrapped up his career in 1977 with the Toronto Blue Jays.

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