Davey Johnson

David Allen Johnson (born January 30, 1943) is an American former professional baseball player and manager. He played for the Baltimore Orioles (1965–1972), Atlanta Braves (1973–1975), Yomiuri Giants (1975–1976), Philadelphia Phillies (1977–1978) and Chicago Cubs (1978). He has managed the New York Mets (1984–1990), Cincinnati Reds (1993–1995), Orioles (1996–1997), Los Angeles Dodgers (1999–2000), and Washington Nationals (2011–2013).

Johnson was the starting second baseman for the Orioles when they won four American League (AL) pennants and two World Series championships between 1965 and 1972. He made four All-Star Game appearances and received the Rawlings Gold Glove Award three times. Johnson won the American League's Manager of the Year Award in 1997 when he led the Baltimore Orioles wire-to-wire to the American League East Division Championship. He won the same award in the National League in 2012 when he led the Nationals to the franchise's first division title since 1981.

His biggest success as a manager was when he led the Mets to the 1986 World Series title. The ball club captured the National League (NL) East under his watch in 1988. The teams he piloted in the three years from 1995 to 1997 all made it to their respective League Championship Series – the Cincinnati Reds in 1995 and the Orioles in both 1996 and 1997. He later managed the Dodgers and Nationals.

Davey Johnson
Davey Johnson Nationals
Second baseman / Manager
Born: January 30, 1943 (age 76)
Orlando, Florida
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Professional debut
MLB: April 13, 1965, for the Baltimore Orioles
NPB: 1975, for the Yomiuri Giants
Last appearance
MLB: September 29, 1978, for the Chicago Cubs
NPB: 1976, for the Yomiuri Giants
MLB statistics
Batting average.261
Home runs136
Runs batted in609
Managerial record1,372–1,071
Winning %.562
Teams
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Davey Johnson
Medal record
Men's baseball
Representing  United States
Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 2008 Beijing Team

Playing career

After one season playing baseball at Texas A&M University, Johnson signed with the Baltimore Orioles as an amateur free agent in 1962. After signing, Johnson was assigned to the Stockton Ports in the Class C (now Single A) California League where he hit .309 with 10 home runs and 63 runs batted in in 97 games. Moved up to the AA Elmira Pioneers in 1963, Johnson hit .326 in 63 games before being promoted to the AAA Rochester Red Wings for the final 63 games of the season. Returning to the Red Wings for the entire 1964 season, Johnson had 19 HRs, 73 RBI, and 87 runs.[1]

In 1965, Johnson made the Orioles out of spring training, but saw only limited time in 20 games (hitting .170) and spent the later part of the season in the minors, where he batted .301 in 52 games for the Red Wings (his final trip back to the minor leagues). Back with the Orioles in 1966, Johnson saw limited playing time until June 13 when the Orioles traded second baseman Jerry Adair to the Chicago White Sox to make room for Johnson at second base. He responded with a .257 batting average, seven HRs and 56 RBI to finish third in American League Rookie of the Year balloting for the 1966 World Series champions. Johnson would be a full-time starter in major leagues for the next eight seasons, averaging over 142 games played in a season. In the 1966 World Series, Johnson would win his first World Series ring and earn the distinction of being the last player to get a hit off Sandy Koufax.[2]

Johnson reached the World Series again with the Orioles in 1969, 1970, and 1971, winning his second ring in 1970. He also won the AL Gold Glove Award at second base all three seasons. Orioles shortstop Mark Belanger won the award as well in 1969 and 1971, joining a select list of shortstop-second baseman combinations to have won the honor in the same season while playing together. Third baseman Brooks Robinson also was in the middle of his record 16 straight Gold Glove streak when Johnson and Belanger won their awards.

Following the 1972 season, one in which Johnson would hit only .221 in 118 games, he was traded along with starting pitchers Pat Dobson and Roric Harrison, and catcher Johnny Oates to the Atlanta Braves for minor league infielder Taylor Duncan and former National League Rookie of the Year catcher Earl Williams. The following season with the Braves, Johnson enjoyed the best statistical year of his career when his offense exploded and he tied Rogers Hornsby's record for most single-season home runs by a second baseman with 42 (Johnson actually hit 43 that year, but one came as a pinch hitter – The Sporting News Baseball Record Book, 2007 p. 23). The 1973 Braves featured the first trio of teammates ever to each hit 40 home runs in the same season when Johnson hit 43, Darrell Evans hit 41, and Hank Aaron hit 40. Johnson's second-highest home run total was 18, in the 1971 season.

Four games into the 1975 season and after getting a hit in his only at bat, Johnson was released by the Braves. He then signed with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan's Central League and played with the team in both the 1975 and 1976 seasons. In 1977, he returned to the United States after signing as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies. Relegated to a utility infielder role, Johnson still hit .321 with 8 HRs in 78 games and played in one game in the Phillies National League Championship Series loss to the Dodgers.

During the 1978 season, Johnson hit two grand slams as a pinch-hitter, becoming the first major leaguer to do it in a season.[3] Four other players, Mike Ivie (1978), Darryl Strawberry (1998), Ben Broussard (2004), and Brooks Conrad (2010), would go on to equal Johnson's feat.[4] Shortly afterwards, Philadelphia dealt him to the Chicago Cubs, where he played the final 24 games of his career before retiring at the end of the season.

Managing career

Minor leagues

In 1979, Johnson was hired to be the manager of the Miami Amigos of the AAA Inter-American League. Although Johnson guided the team of released and undrafted players to a .708 winning percentage, the league folded 72 games into its only season; they planned to play a 130-game season.[5] In 1981, Johnson was hired to manage the New York Mets AA team, the Jackson Mets, and he led the team to a 68-66 record in his only season with the team. In 1983, Johnson was named as the manager of the Mets AAA Tidewater Tides, who finished with a 71-68 record.

New York Mets

Davey Johnson 1986
Johnson in Spring of 1986

Johnson took over the Mets in 1984, a team that had not won a pennant since 1973. He became the first National League manager to win at least 90 games in each of his first five seasons. The highlight of his time with the Mets was winning the 1986 World Series against the Boston Red Sox. While with the Orioles in 1969, Johnson was the final out in the Miracle Mets World Series win.

However, Johnson rankled Mets management with his easygoing style. Years later, he summed up his approach to managing by saying, "I treated my players like men. As long as they won for me on the field, I didn't give a flying fuck what they did otherwise."[6] When the Mets struggled early in the 1990 season, starting the season 20-22, he was fired. He finished with a record of 595 wins and 417 losses in the regular season and 11 wins and nine losses in the post-season.[7] He remains the winningest manager in Mets history and was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame with Frank Cashen, Darryl Strawberry, and Dwight Gooden on August 1, 2010.

Cincinnati Reds

After more than two seasons out of baseball, the Cincinnati Reds hired Johnson 44 games into the 1993 season. As was the case with the Mets, Johnson revived the Reds almost immediately. He led the team to the National League Central lead at the time of the 1994 players' strike and won the first official NL Central title in 1995. However, early in the 1995 season, Reds owner Marge Schott announced Johnson would not return in 1996, regardless of how the Reds did. Schott named former Reds third baseman Ray Knight (who had played for Johnson on the Mets championship team) as bench coach, with the understanding that he would take over as manager in 1996.

Johnson and Schott had never gotten along, and relations had deteriorated to the point that he had nearly been fired after the 1994 season. By most accounts, the final straw came because Schott did not approve of Johnson living with his fiancée Susan before they were married. According to The Washington Post, Schott had decided before the 1995 season even started that it would be Johnson's last one in Cincinnati.[8] Johnson finished with a record of 204 wins and 172 losses in the regular season and three wins and four losses in the post-season.[7]

Baltimore Orioles

In 1996, Johnson returned to Baltimore as the Orioles' manager. The team earned a wild-card playoff berth in his first season. It was the Orioles' first trip to the postseason since winning the 1983 World Series; Baltimore would follow by winning the American League East title in 1997.

However, Johnson and Orioles owner Peter Angelos never got along. In fact, the two men almost never spoke to each other. The end reportedly came when Johnson fined Roberto Alomar for skipping a team banquet in April 1997 and an exhibition game against AAA Rochester during the 1997 All-Star Break. Johnson ordered Alomar to pay the fine by making out a check for a fine to a charity for which his wife served as a fundraiser. However, Alomar donated the money to another charity after players' union lawyers advised him of the possible conflict of interest. In negotiations after the season, Angelos let it be known that he was considering firing Johnson for the Alomar fine. Johnson was prepared to admit he'd made an error in judgment regarding the fine, but Angelos demanded that Johnson admit that he'd acted recklessly in not leaving the decision to him—which presumably would have given Angelos grounds to fire Johnson for cause. Johnson refused to do so, and offered his resignation—which Angelos accepted on the same day that Johnson was named American League Manager of the Year.[8] The Orioles would not have another winning season (or make the post-season) again until 2012.

Davey Johnson
Johnson during the World Baseball Classic

Los Angeles Dodgers

In 1999, Johnson was hired as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Johnson suffered the only full losing season of his managerial career, finishing in third place eight games under .500. While the Dodgers rebounded to second place the next year, it was not enough to save Johnson's job. He finished with a record of 163 wins and 161 losses.[7]

Olympics and Team USA

Johnson briefly managed the Netherlands national team in 2003 during the absence of Robert Eenhoorn, then served as a bench coach under Eenhoorn at the 2004 Summer Olympics.[9] He then became manager of Team USA, where he managed the United States team to a seventh-place finish out of an 18-team field in the 2005 Baseball World Cup, held in The Netherlands. The team finished tied for second in its group during group play with a 6–2 record before falling, 11–3, to eventual winner and 24-time World Cup champion Cuba in the quarterfinals. A subsequent 9–0 loss to Nicaragua put the Americans into the seventh-place game with Puerto Rico, where they prevailed with an 11–3 win.

Johnson served as bench coach for Team USA during the 2006 World Baseball Classic, managed Team USA at the 2008 Summer Olympics, and managed Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. In 2009, Johnson was also the head coach for the Florida Collegiate Summer League, DeLand Suns, and returned as the head coach for the 2010 Sanford River Rats season.[10]

Washington Nationals

Johnson first joined the Washington Nationals front office on June 7, 2006 when he was appointed as a consultant by then-vice president/general manager Jim Bowden.[11] He was named a senior advisor to current GM Mike Rizzo after the 2009 campaign. He became the Nationals manager on June 26, 2011 after the unexpected resignation of Jim Riggleman three days earlier. He served as manager for the rest of the 2011 season. On October 31, the Nationals announced that Davey Johnson would be their manager for the 2012 season.[12]

On October 1, 2012, Johnson led the Nationals to the franchise's first division title since 1981 (when they were the Montreal Expos), eventually achieving a franchise-record 98 wins—the most wins in baseball that year. On November 10, Johnson signed a contract to return as manager of the Nationals for the 2013 season. On November 13, Johnson was named National League Manager of the Year.[13] On September 29, 2013, Johnson announced his retirement. In 2014, he became a consultant.[14]

Managerial record

As of February 14, 2014
Team From To Regular season record Post–season record
G W L Win % G W L Win %
New York Mets 1984 1990 1012 595 417 .588 20 11 9 .550
Cincinnati Reds 1993 1995 376 204 172 .543 7 3 4 .429
Baltimore Orioles 1996 1997 376 186 138 .574 19 9 10 .474
Los Angeles Dodgers 1999 2000 324 163 161 .503
Washington Nationals 2011 2013 407 224 183 .550 5 2 3 .400
Total 2443 1372 1071 .562 51 25 26 .490
Ref.:[7]

Personal life

Johnson was born in Orlando, Florida. He graduated from Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio, Texas.[15] He also attended the Johns Hopkins University and Texas A&M University, and he graduated from Trinity University in 1964 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics.[15] Johnson is known for taking a statistical approach to baseball, and he pioneered computer-based sabermetrics while managing the Mets.[16]

Johnson's daughter, Andrea, was a nationally ranked amateur surfer in the late 1980s. Andrea died in 2005 from septic shock and complications from schizophrenia.[17]

See also

References

Notes
  1. ^ Davey Johnson Minor League Statistics & History Baseball-Reference.com
  2. ^ Davey Johnson Statistics and History Baseball-Reference.com
  3. ^ "Grand Slam Records". www.baseball-almanac.com.
  4. ^ "Conrad relishes chance to contribute - braves.com: News".
  5. ^ "Cooperstown Confidential: Davey Johnson and the Miami Amigos - The Hardball Times". www.hardballtimes.com.
  6. ^ Klapisch, Bob; Harper, John. The Worst Team Money Could Buy: The Collapse of the New York Mets. New York: Random House, 1993. ISBN 0803278225
  7. ^ a b c d "Davey Johnson". Baseball Reference. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Maske, Mark (November 16, 1997). "Poor Communication at Heart of Feud". Washington Post. Retrieved July 18, 2007.
  9. ^ Kepner, Tyler. "Davey Johnson Has a Soft Spot for Dutch Baseball Team." The New York Times, March 11, 2009.
  10. ^ Florida League > Teams > Sanford River Rats > Sanford River Rats Newsletters > River Rats Head Coach Archived July 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ ""Nationals name Davey Johnson as Special Consultant to the General Manager", Washington Nationals press release, Wednesday, June 7, 2006".
  12. ^ Ladson, Bill (June 25, 2011). "Johnson to take over as Nationals manager". Washington.Nationals.MLB.com. Retrieved June 25, 2011.
  13. ^ "Davey Johnson wins National League Manager of the Year Award - MLB.com: News".
  14. ^ Wagner, James (November 10, 2012). "Davey Johnson, Nationals officially agree to deal for return in 2013 season". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ a b Catalano, Julie "Davey Johnson '64: Baseball by the Numbers" Trinity (The Magazine of Trinity University), February 14, 2012
  16. ^ Porter, Martin (May 29, 1984). "The PC Goes to Bat". PC Magazine. p. 209. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  17. ^ "Davey Johnson tells of Mets days, steroids and Olympic dreams – NY Daily News". Daily News. New York.

External links

1971 Baltimore Orioles season

In 1971, the Baltimore Orioles finished first in the American League East, with a record of 101 wins and 57 losses. As of 2016, the 1971 Orioles are one of only two Major League Baseball clubs (the 1920 Chicago White Sox being the other) to have four 20-game winners in a season: Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar, and Pat Dobson.

1973 Atlanta Braves season

The 1973 Atlanta Braves season was the eighth season in Atlanta along with the 103rd season as a franchise overall. The highlight of the season was Hank Aaron finishing the season just one home run short of Babe Ruth as baseball's all-time home run king. The 1973 Atlanta Braves were the first team to boast three 40 home run hitters. They were Aaron, Darrell Evans, and Davey Johnson.

1984 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1984 season was the 23rd regular season for the Mets. They went 90–72 and finished in second place in the National League East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1985 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1985 season was the 24th regular season for the Mets. They went 98-64 and finished 2nd in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. They played their home games at Shea Stadium.

1987 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1987 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 58th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 14, 1987, at the Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California, the home of the Oakland Athletics of the American League. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 2-0 in 13 innings. Montreal Expos outfielder Tim Raines was named the Most Valuable Player.

1987 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1987 season was the 26th regular season for the Mets. They went 92-70 and finished 2nd in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. The team played home games at Shea Stadium.

1988 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1988 season was the 27th regular season for the Mets. They went 100–60 and finished first in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1989 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1989 season was the 28th regular season for the Mets. They went 87-75 and finished 2nd in the NL East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1990 New York Mets season

The 1990 New York Mets season was the 29th regular season for the Mets. They went 91-71 and finished second in the National League East. They were managed by Davey Johnson and Bud Harrelson. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1999 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1999 season started with a new management team; Kevin Malone became the team's General Manager and Davey Johnson was selected to be the new Dodgers Manager. Looking to make a splash, Malone exclaimed "There is a new Sheriff in town" as he took over the reins and made a splash by signing starting pitcher Kevin Brown to a huge long contract. However, the team struggled to a third-place finish in the Western Division of the National League.

2000 Los Angeles Dodgers season

In 2000, the Dodgers set a club record for home runs with 211, led by Gary Sheffield, who tied Duke Snider's single-season club mark with 43. Eric Karros became the L.A. Dodger all-time leader with his 229th home run and Dave Hansen set a Major League record with seven pinch-hit home runs. Kevin Brown led the league in E.R.A. with 2.58 and rookie pitcher Matt Herges started the season 8-0, the first pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela to open the season with eight straight victories. The Dodgers won 86 games, but failed to make the post-season, finishing second in the Western Division of the National League. Manager Davey Johnson was fired after the season and replaced with bench coach Jim Tracy.

Frank Cashen

John Francis "Frank" Cashen (September 13, 1925 – June 30, 2014) was a Major League Baseball general manager. He was an executive when the Baltimore Orioles won the 1966 World Series, and 1970 World Series while winning three consecutive AL pennants from 1969 to 1971. Later he became General Manager of the New York Mets from 1980 to 1991, and the club won the 1986 World Series during his tenure.

Inter-American League

The Inter-American League was a high-level circuit in Minor league baseball that lasted only three months before folding during the 1979 season.

The league was conceived both as an official Triple-A minor league circuit and member of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. It was composed of six clubs unaffiliated with Major League Baseball farm systems.

The Inter-American loop was headed by Roberto Maduro, former owner of the Triple-A Havana Sugar Kings and a longtime scout and front-office executive active in Latin American countries and Major League Baseball.

A 130-game regular season was planned, while the six teams were located in the United States (2), Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. The league featured several well-known MLB veterans, with rosters averaging players between 26-29 years of age.But the new circuit was barely able to complete half its schedule, fatally wounded by "under-capitalized owners, internecine rivalries among Caribbean baseball powers, tropical monsoons, and unreliable air travel."On June 17, 1979, the Panama and Puerto Rico teams disbanded, leaving the league with only four clubs. Thirteen days later, the entire league folded. The Miami Amigos, led by future Major League manager Davey Johnson, were in first place with a 51–21 mark (.708) when the Inter-American League shut down.

List of New York Mets managers

The New York Mets are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in New York City, New York in the borough of Queens. They play in the National League East division. In the history of the Mets there has been 21 managers. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. Of those managers, only Joe Torre who was a player-manager (a manager who also plays for the team); Yogi Berra did however play four games while he was a coach in 1965.The Mets posted their franchise record for losses in their inaugural season in the league, with 120 losses in 160 games in 1962. This was the first of seven consecutive losing seasons, a season in which the winning percentage was below .500, and the most losses by a post-1900 MLB team. During this stretch from 1962 to 1968, the Mets employed four managers. Five managers have taken the Mets to the postseason; Davey Johnson, Bobby Valentine and Terry Collins have led the team to two playoff appearances each. Johnson and Gil Hodges are the only Mets managers to win a World Series: Hodges in 1969 against the Baltimore Orioles; and Johnson in 1986 against the Boston Red Sox. Terry Collins is the longest-tenured manager in franchise history, with 1,134 games of service over 7 seasons.The manager with the most wins and highest winning percentage over a full season or more is Johnson; his 595–417 record gives him a .588 winning percentage. Conversely, the worst winning percentage over a full season or more in franchise history is .302 by inaugural manager Casey Stengel, who posted a 175–404 record from 1962 to 1965.

List of Washington Nationals managers

The Washington Nationals are an American professional baseball franchise based in Washington, D.C. They are members of the National League (NL) East Division in Major League Baseball (MLB). The team began playing in 1969 as an expansion team in Montreal, Quebec, then known as the Montreal Expos. There have been 18 different managers in the franchise's history. The team has played its home games at the Nationals Park since 2008. The Nationals are owned by Ted Lerner, with Mike Rizzo as their general manager.The Expos' first manager was Gene Mauch, who managed for six seasons. Felipe Alou is the franchise's all-time leader in regular season games managed (1,408) and regular season game wins (691). Jim Fanning is the only Expos manager to have gone into the post-season. Buck Rodgers and Alou are the only managers to have won the NL Manager of the Year Award with the Expos, in 1987 and 1994 respectively. Karl Kuehl, Jim Fanning, and Tom Runnells have all spent their entire MLB managing careers with the Expos/Nationals. After Manny Acta was fired during the 2009 season, Jim Riggleman, the bench coach, was named interim manager to replace him, and was promoted to the position full-time for the 2010 season. After Riggleman resigned during the 2011 season and John McLaren ran the team for three games as an interim manager, the team hired veteran manager Davey Johnson, who had previously served as an advisor to Rizzo. Johnson led the team to the 2012 National League East title and the franchise's first playoff berth since moving to Washington and was 2012's NL Manager of the Year, but the team did not advance past the 2012 National League Division Series. Johnson retired after the 2013 season. Matt Williams took over in 2014, leading the team to another National League East title that season, and was 2014 NL Manager of the Year, but the team did not advance past the 2014 NLDS, and Williams was fired after an unsuccessful second year in 2015. Dusty Baker managed the team in 2016 and 2017, leading it to consecutive National League East titles, but the team did not advance beyond the NLDS in either season and Baker's contract was not renewed after the 2017 season. The Nationals hired Dave Martinez in October 2017 to take the helm in 2018

Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Award

In Major League Baseball, the Manager of the Year Award is an honor given annually since 1983 to the best managers in the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). The winner is voted on by 30 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). Each places a vote for first, second, and third place among the managers of each league. The manager with the highest score in each league wins the award.Several managers have won the award in a season when they led their team to 100 or more wins. Lou Piniella won 116 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2001, the most by a winning manager, and Joe Torre won 114 with the New York Yankees in 1998. Sparky Anderson and Tony La Russa finished with identical 104–58 records in 1984 and 1988, respectively. Three National League managers, including Dusty Baker, Whitey Herzog, and Larry Dierker, have exceeded the century mark as well. Baker's San Francisco Giants won 103 games in 1993; Dierker's 1998 Houston Astros won 102 and Herzog led the Cardinals to 101 wins in the award's third season.In 1991, Bobby Cox became the first manager to win the award in both leagues, winning with the Atlanta Braves and having previously won with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1985. La Russa, Piniella, Jim Leyland, Bob Melvin, Davey Johnson, and Joe Maddon have since won the award in both leagues. Cox and La Russa have won the most awards, with four. Baker, Leyland, Piniella, Showalter and Maddon have won three times. In 2005, Cox became the first manager to win the award in consecutive years. Bob Melvin and Brian Snitker are the most recent winners.

Because of the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike cut the season short and cancelled the post-season, the BBWAA writers effectively created a de facto mythical national championship (similar to college football) by naming managers of the unofficial league champions (lead the leagues in winning percentage) (Buck Showalter and Felipe Alou) as Managers of the Year. Two franchises, the New York Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers, have not had a manager win the award.

Only six managers have won the award while leading a team that finished outside the top two spots in its division. Ted Williams was the first, after leading the "expansion" Washington Senators to a third-place finish (and, at 86-76, their only winning season) in the American League East, in 1969. Buck Rodgers won the award in 1987 with the third-place Expos. Tony Peña and Showalter won the award with third-place teams in back-to-back years: Peña with the Royals in 2003, and Showalter with the Rangers in 2004. Joe Girardi is the only manager to win the award with a fourth-place team (2006 Florida Marlins); he is also the only manager to win the award after fielding a team with a losing record.

Mike Ivie

Michael Wilson Ivie (born August 8, 1952), is an American former professional baseball player. He played as a first baseman in Major League Baseball for the San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros, and Detroit Tigers during his career from 1971 to 1983. In addition to playing first base, Ivie put in considerable time as a third baseman, a left fielder and was a designated hitter.

Ivie is one of only five Major League Baseball players to hit two pinch-hit grand slams in the same season. The others are Davey Johnson of the Philadelphia Phillies, Darryl Strawberry of the New York Yankees, Ben Broussard of the Cleveland Indians, and Brooks Conrad of the Atlanta Braves.

Rubber Chicken Man

Hugh Kaufman (born January 14, 1943), better known as the Rubber Chicken Man, is a Washington Nationals baseball fan who can be seen at most games at Nationals Park waving a rubber chicken over the Nationals dugout to ward off bad "juju" or bad luck. Sports reporters writing for The Washington Post have written about his giving chicken soup to struggling Nats players to improve their play and that his ritual "sacrificing" of chickens often seems to precede turnarounds in the Nationals' performance.Kaufman was born January 14, 1943 in Washington, D.C. where he became a fan of the old Washington Senators. He continues his father's tradition of keeping box score statistics of each game.

According to a Topps baseball card issued for Rubber Chicken Man, in 2005 "a rubber chicken was sacrificed over the dugout and the team played over .500 after that point. The team likes the tradition, so every year he sacrifices a rubber chicken.That same year, Nats slugger José Guillén was struggling and apparently needed surgery. Kaufman gave him a serving of his Jewish grandmother’s chicken soup from a 19th century Hungarian recipe. “By the 7th or 8th inning, he was feeling better,” Kaufman recalled to a Post reporter. “He went in the game, and he scored the winning run.”

In May 2012, when the Nationals were a slump, Nats manager Davey Johnson was asked whether the team was "snakebitten" after several injuries. "There’s been superstitions, to change our luck and do different kinds of things. Sacrifice a chicken or something," Johnson replied.Kaufman answered Johnson's call by sacrificing a rubber chicken outside the stadium, as he had done numerous times over the previous ten years. “I think Davey has recognized the whole history of baseball Voodoo," he told a local baseball blogger. Kaufman follows the orthodox Jewish tradition of Kaporos, in which chickens were ritually sacrificed before the Yom Kippur holiday. “This is an offshoot of that,” Kaufman told the writer before pulling out his butcher knife. “That’s where you transfer the sins to the animal, and so if there are any hidden sins in that Nats locker room, Cool Heat or something like that, that gets transferred to the chicken so when you take the head off, that gets rid of the bad Juju.”In the summer of 2014, the Nationals began a successful run to win the Eastern Division title. On June 11, Washington Post reporter Neil Greenberg wrote that they had "brought their record to 9-3 since fans sacrificed a rubber chicken. Yes, you read that right."

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