Thursday, March 7, 2013

3/4-Jay Johnstone Fills In for Chuck Wilder

Jay Johnstone Fills In for Chuck Wilder today.

John William Johnstone Jr. (born November 20, 1945) is an American former professional baseballplayer, active from 1966 to 1985 for the California AngelsChicago White SoxOakland Athletics,Philadelphia PhilliesNew York YankeesSan Diego PadresLos Angeles Dodgers, and Chicago Cubs. Johnstone was known as a versatileoutfielder with a good sense of humor, known for keeping clubhouses loose with occasional pranks and gimmicks. He later served as a radio color commentator for the Yankees (1989–1990) and Phillies (1992–1993).
Career highlights include:
  • As an Angel, he preserved Clyde Wright's no-hitter against the Athletics in the seventh inning by catching a Reggie Jackson fly ball 400 feet from straightaway center field, just in front of the wall (July 3, 1970).
  • As a Dodger, he hit a pinch-two run home run in Game Four of the 1981 World Seriesagainst the New York Yankees, the home run rallying the Dodgers from a 6–3 deficit to win 8–7. The victory also enabled the Dodgers to tie the Series at two games each; they won the next two games to win it all.

[edit]Clubhouse prankster

He pulled off a number of infamous pranks during his playing days, including placing a soggy brownie inside Steve Garvey's first base mitt, setting teammate's cleats on fire (known as "hot-footing"), cutting out the crotch area of Rick Sutcliffe's underwear, locking Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda in his office during spring training, once dressing up as a groundskeeper and sweeping the Dodger Stadium infield in between innings and then hitting homers the next, nailing teammate's cleats to the floor, and replacing the celebrity photos in manager Lasorda's office with pictures of himself, Jerry Reuss and Don Stanhouse. One time, during pre-game warm ups, he climbed atop the Dodger dugout and, in full game uniform, walked through the field boxes at Dodger Stadium to the concession stand and got a hot dog. He also once dressed up in Lasorda's uniform (with padding underneath) and ran out to the mound to talk to the pitcher while carrying Lasorda's book and a can of Slim Fast.
As a baseball announcer, he once covered a microphone with a scent of stale eggs then proceeded to interview Dave StewartMickey Hatcher and other players.
Many of the pranks, along with other aspects of his career, are described in the books he co-authored with sports columnist Rick Talley — Temporary InsanityOver the Edge, and Some of My Best Friends Are Crazy.

[edit]Appearances outside of baseball

Johnstone appeared in the movie Naked Gun as a member of the Seattle Mariners in a game against the California Angels. Johnstone, who was a left-handed hitter throughout his career, bats right-handed in the movie.
After the Dodgers' 1981 World Series victory, Johnstone and Dodger teammates Rick Monday (with whom he shares a birthday, service in the Marines, and stints with the A's, Cubs, and Dodgers), Jerry Reuss, and Steve Yeager appeared on Solid Gold and sang their own rendition of Queen's hit, We Are the Champions.

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