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Jay Johnstone

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1984 Fleer #495 Jay Johnstone

John William Johnstone Jr.

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 175 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

"What makes him unusual is that he thinks he's normal and everyone else is nuts." - Danny Ozark about Jay Johnstone
"Johnstone was a completely zany, off-the-wall character, who simply loved to play practical jokes on his unsuspecting teammates. - Dodger Profiles
"One of the game's greatest fourth outfielders." -Phillies Nation

Jay Johnstone survived 20 years in the Majors primarily as a utility player - with 500+ at-bats in only one season and 400+ in only one other season. He was a New York Yankees broadcaster from 1989 to 1990 and a Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster in 1992 and 1993.

Johnstone was signed in 1963 and came to the majors in 1966 with the 1966 Angels, a team on which Willie Montanez was also a rookie. Jay spent five years with the Angels, getting as few as 115 at-bats and as many as 540 at-bats in a season. After that, he would never spend five full seasons in a row with another major league team.

He was traded after the 1970 season to the Chicago White Sox, and hit only .188 in 1972. After being released at the end of 1973 spring training, he caught on with the Oakland Athletics. The St. Louis Cardinals bought him in early 1974 but released him before the end of spring training and he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, for whom he would play four seasons and part of a fifth before being traded in mid-season 1978 to the Yankees, with whom he appeared in the 1978 World Series (the Phillies won their division in 1976-78 and he appeared in post-season play with them in 1976-77).

After a half season with the 1979 San Diego Padres, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and spent 1980-81 and a bit of 1982 with them before being released in May 1982. He appeared with the Dodgers in the 1981 World Series, going 2-for-3. The Chicago Cubs picked him up in June 1982 and he spent the rest of 1982 as well as 1983-84 with them, but didn't appear in the post-season because he was released in September.

Finally, he signed again with the Dodgers in 1985, and spent the 1985 season with them, being little used. His last major league appearance was in the 1985 post-season.

[edit] Notable Achievements

[edit] Further Reading

  • Jay Johnstone and Rick Talley : Temporary Insanity, 1986
  • Jay Johnstone and Rick Talley : Over the Edge, Contemorary Books, Chicago, 1987 (ISBN 0809249758)

[edit] Related Sites

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