September 19 – Happy Birthday Nick Johnson

Nobody expected Nick Johnson to be a huge star in the big leagues but when he first came up with New York in August of 2001, the Yankee brass made it sound as if he had a good enough bat to force their poor-fielding first baseman, Jason Giambi to the full-time DH role. He turned out to be an OK fielder with a good batting eye but he definitely did not hit well enough during his first tour of duty in pinstripes to deserve the full-time first-baseman’s job. He was shipped to Montreal in 2004 in the deal that made Javier Vazquez a Yankee for the first time.

Since then the injury bug has hit Johnson hard. He was having his best big league season in Washington, in 2006, smacking 23 home runs and averaging a career high .290, when in a late season game he broke a leg when he collided with current Yankee teammate, Austin Kearns. That injury forced Nick to miss the entire 2007 season. Washington traded him to the Marlins during the 2009 season and then Brian Cashman played a hunch and signed Johnson to replace Hideki Matsui as Yankee DH in an effort to save salary. It turned out to be a bad decision for the Yankee GM. The Sacramento native was off to a horrible start last year before an injury placed him on the DL for the remainder of the 2010 season.

Johnson was born on September 19, 1978. He shares a birthday with former Yankee starting pitcher, Jim Abbott, former Yankee first baseman, Nick Etten, this WWII era left fielder and the 1958 Cy Young Award winner.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2001 NYY 23 78 67 6 13 2 0 2 8 0 7 15 .194 .308 .313 .621
2002 NYY 129 441 378 56 92 15 0 15 58 1 48 98 .243 .347 .402 .749
2003 NYY 96 406 324 60 92 19 0 14 47 5 70 57 .284 .422 .472 .894
2010 NYY 24 98 72 12 12 4 0 2 8 0 24 23 .167 .388 .306 .693
10 Yrs 832 3316 2698 430 723 173 5 95 398 29 522 572 .268 .399 .441 .840
WSN (5 yrs) 487 2041 1666 263 467 121 5 56 248 21 326 335 .280 .408 .460 .867
NYY (4 yrs) 272 1023 841 134 209 40 0 33 121 6 149 193 .249 .378 .414 .791
BAL (1 yr) 38 102 87 9 18 4 0 4 11 2 11 26 .207 .324 .391 .714
FLA (1 yr) 35 150 104 24 29 8 0 2 18 0 36 18 .279 .477 .413 .890
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/21/2013.

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