Former big league outfielder Alex Johnson passed away on February 28th of cancer. He was 72.
A native of Detroit, Johnson signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961 and would debut with the team in 1964. That was the year when the Phillies collapsed in the final two weeks of the season to be eclipsed by the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL pennant.
The Phillies traded Johnson to the Cardinals prior to the 1966 season along with Pat Corrales and Art Mahaffey for one time NL MVP Dick Groat, future NL President Bill White and future cultural icon Bob Uecker.
Johnson did not distinguish himself with either the Phillies or the Cardinals. But this would change when he was dealt to the Cincinnati Reds for Dick Simpson prior to the 1968 season. Johnson hit .312 with the Reds in 1968 and .315 with the Reds in 1969 finishing fourth and sixth in the NL batting race, respectively. His teammate Pete Rose would win two of his three career NL batting titles in both of those seasons.