John Paul Lazor
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9½", Weight 180 lb.
- School Washington State University
- High School Tahoma High School
- Debut April 22, 1943
- Final Game September 29, 1946
- Born September 9, 1912 in Taylor, WA USA
- Died December 9, 2002 in Renton, WA USA
Outfielder Johnny Lazor played four years in the majors, mostly during World War II, beginning at age 30. He was the most-utilized left fielder on the Boston Red Sox in 1943, although he is not listed as one of the three regulars because others had more total outfield games. He was also the most-utilized right fielder on the 1945 team, for which he hit .310.
Lazor might have won the 1945 batting title since he finished one point higher than Snuffy Stirnweiss, but the American League president ruled that Lazor did not take the field in enough games (he was sometimes a pinch-hitter). Source: The Red Sox Encyclopedia, which has a photo of Lazor.
After hitting .310 in 1945, he was sparingly used in 1946, a year in which outfielders Ted Williams and Dom DiMaggio returned to the Red Sox after serving in World War II, joining Catfish Metkovich in the outfield. Some sources (and apparently Lazor himself) attributed his lack of usage to a poor relationship with manager Joe Cronin, although it was unlikely he would replace either Williams or DiMaggio, both big stars, while Metkovich was a much younger player who had mostly played center field in the past, thus indicating that he was likely a very mobile player.
Lazor, who had played semi-pro ball and minor league ball for years before coming to the majors in 1943, went back to the minors with Portland in 1947-1949. His minor league batting average from 1937-1949 was .303, with a peak of .334 in 1939 for Canton.