Sunday, January 10, 2010

1968 Topps Bob "Rocky" Johnson

Who is this? Bob Johnson, a 1960s utility infielder for the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics, Washington Senators, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals.

What is this? An autographed card from the 1968 Topps set

Where'd I get it? I wrote to Johnson and asked him to sign it; he returned it in a little over a week.

How much did it cost? Say $2 for the card & postage

Why is this so special? Bob "Rocky" Johnson spent 11 seasons in the big leagues, playing for seven different teams. He was an original 1961 Washington Senator, selected in the 1960 expansion draft.

Only once - in 1962 as a Washington Senator - did Johnson reach 500 plate appearances. For four seasons, he was a Baltimore Oriole -- he said that was his favorite team to play for. He finished his career with a lifetime .272 batting average, 44 home runs and 230 RBI.

Johnson spent most of the 1967 season with the Mets, but after the season he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for outfielder Art Shamsky. I believe that the photo on Johnson's 1968 card was taken while he was a Met - you can spot blue pinstripes on his jersey.

I was not aware of Johnson's nickname, "Rocky" until I saw his autograph on this card.

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