Charles Edward Johnson, Jr. (born July 20, 1971) is an American former professional baseball player. He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball with the Florida Marlins (1994–1998, 2001–2002), the Los Angeles Dodgers (1998), the Baltimore Orioles (1999–2000), the Chicago White Sox (2000), the Colorado Rockies (2003–2004), and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2005).
Johnson was considered as one of the best defensive catchers of his era, winning four consecutive Gold Glove Awards between 1995 and 1998. He is one of only three catchers in Major League history to catch at least 100 games in a single season without committing an error.
|Born: July 20, 1971|
Fort Pierce, Florida
|May 6, 1994, for the Florida Marlins|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 11, 2005, for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Runs batted in||570|
|Career highlights and awards|
Johnson was born in Fort Pierce, Florida where he graduated from Fort Pierce Westwood High School in Fort Pierce, Florida. He was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the first round of the 1989 Major League Baseball Draft. He did not sign, and decided to enroll at the University of Miami, where he played for the Miami Hurricanes baseball team. He was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the first round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft. He played with the A-level Kane County Cougars in 1993 and the AA Portland Sea Dogs.
In 1995, Johnson's reputation as a skilled defensive player was solidified when he became the fourth catcher in Major League history to win a Gold Glove Award in his rookie season, joining Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk and Sandy Alomar, Jr. Although his offensive statistics weren't impressive, he made up for those shortcomings by helping his team with his superior defensive skills. In 1996, Johnson was the Marlins catcher when Al Leiter threw a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies. Johnson set a Major League record in 1997 by playing in 123 games without committing a single error, earning him his first All-Star selection, and helping the Marlins win the 1997 World Series against the Cleveland Indians. Johnson led the Marlins in the Series with 10 hits, batting .357 including one home run. Along with winning his third consecutive Gold Glove Award in 1997, he also caught his second no hitter when Kevin Brown no hit the Giants on June 10.
In 1998, the Marlins traded Johnson along with Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenreich, Gary Sheffield and Manuel Barriosto to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile. After finishing the season with the Dodgers, he played for two years in the American League with the Baltimore Orioles and the Chicago White Sox. He had his best year offensively in 2000, when he had a .304 batting average along with 31 home runs and 91 RBIs, during a season in which he played 84 games for the Orioles and 44 games for the White Sox.
In 2001 he was traded back to the Marlins, where he hit .285 with 16 home runs by mid-season to earn his second All-Star berth. He would also catch his third no hitter when A. J. Burnett no hit the San Diego Padres on May 12. The only Marlins no-hitters Johnson has not caught for Florida were in 2006, when Aníbal Sánchez threw a no-hitter in Dolphin Stadium against the Arizona Diamondbacks, 2013 when Henderson Álvarez no-hit the Detroit Tigers, and 2017 when Edinson Vólquez no-hit the Diamondbacks.
After the 2002 season, the Marlins traded Johnson to the Colorado Rockies where he played for two seasons. On April 27, 2004, he, rookie Matt Holliday, and Jeromy Burnitz combined to slug back-to-back-to-back home runs against the Marlins, the sixth such occasion in franchise history. After playing for Colorado, he ended his career with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2005.
In a twelve-season major league career covering 1,188 games, Johnson had a .245 batting average along with 167 home runs, 570 runs batted in and a .993 fielding percentage. His .993 fielding percentage ranks 16th all-time among major league catchers. Along with his four Gold Glove Awards, Johnson twice led National League catchers in fielding percentage, and once each in baserunners caught stealing and assists. During his playing career, he ranked second only to Iván Rodríguez in throwing out baserunners, with a 39% average. He earned two All-Star berths as well as winning a World Series during his career. His three no hitters caught ties him with several other players for third place on the all-time list behind the four no hitters caught by Jason Varitek and Carlos Ruiz. Johnson played more games as a catcher than any other player in Marlins history (582).
He now lives in Miami with his wife, Rhonda, and their two sons, Brandon and Beau. Johnson is a cousin of former Major Leaguer Fred McGriff. He is a member of the Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame.
The Washington Nationals are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Washington, D.C. Prior to 2005, they were known as the Montreal Expos and based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Nationals play in the National League East division. Since the institution of MLB's Rule 4 Draft, the Expos/Nationals have selected 71 players in the first round. Officially known as the "First-Year Player Draft", the Rule 4 Draft is MLB's primary mechanism for assigning amateur baseball players from high schools, colleges, and other amateur baseball clubs to its teams. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, with the team possessing the worst record receiving the first pick. In addition, teams which lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded compensatory or supplementary picks. The First-Year Player Draft is unrelated to the 1968 expansion draft in which the Expos initially filled their roster.
Of the 71 players picked in the first round by Montreal or Washington, 36 have been pitchers, the most of any position; 25 of them were right-handed, while 11 were left-handed. Thirteen outfielders, ten shortstops, five third basemen, four catchers, and three first basemen were also taken. The team has never drafted a player at second base. In all, 40 of the players were drafted from high school, 27 from four-year colleges, and four from junior colleges. Eleven of the players came from high schools, universities, or junior colleges in the state of California, and Florida follows with 10 players. They have also drafted two players from Puerto Rico: Josue Estrada (1993) and Hiram Bocachica (1994).None of the Expos' or Nationals' first-round picks have won a World Series championship with the franchise (which has never won a World Series championship), and no pick has been elected to the Hall of Fame. One first-round pick, Bryce Harper (2010), has been named Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player in his career, earning National League rookie honors in 2012 and National League MVP honors in 2015, both with the Nationals. Harper is the second of the Nationals' two overall #1 selections; the first was Stephen Strasburg in 2009. Condredge Holloway (1971) was drafted as a shortstop, but ended up becoming a quarterback in the Canadian Football League, and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1999.The Expos/Nationals have made 19 selections in the supplemental round of the draft and six compensatory picks since their entry into the league in 1969. These additional picks are provided when a team loses a particularly valuable free agent in the previous off-season, or, more recently, if a team fails to sign a draft pick from the previous year. The Expos/Nationals have failed to sign four of their first-round picks: Condredge Holloway (1971), Charles Johnson (1989), John Patterson (1996), and Aaron Crow (2008). The Expos received no compensation for failing to sign Holloway, but received the 40th pick in 1990, the 52nd pick in 1997, and the 10th pick in 2009 for failing to sign Johnson, Patterson, and Crow, respectively.