‘Sweet’ Lou Johnson, Dodgers Legend, Dead at 86

by Matthew Wilson
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“Sweet” Lou Johnson has died. The Dodgers legend passed away in his Los Angeles home a day after his 86th birthday.

The Dodgers confirmed Johnson’s passing. According to NBC, Johnson’s wife said the former MLB player had in “ill health” in the days leading to his death.

“Dodger fans will always remember his important home run in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series, when he was clapping his hands running around the bases,” team president and CEO Stan Kasten said. “Lou Johnson was such a positive inspiration at Dodger Stadium with our employees and our fans as well as throughout the community in the appearances he made on behalf of the organization.”

Perhaps Johnson’s most iconic came with the Dodgers came during Game 7 in the 1965 World Series. Johnson hit a home run to help the Dodgers win. He also scored the only run in Sandy Koufax’s perfect game that same year.

Lou Johnson played for a variety of teams in the MLB.

In 1953, Johnson signed with the New York Yankees and spent almost a decade in the minor league. In 1960, Johnson graduated to the Major League with the Chicago Cubs. During his eight years in the majors, Johnson played for the Cubs, California Angels, Milwaukee Braves, Dodgers and Cleveland Indians. He hit .258 and scored 48 home runs. He had a 232 RBI (runs batted in) for 677 games. Overall, he played 17 years in professional baseball.

In 1967, Johnson broke his leg sliding into fellow player Joe Torre. That same year the Dodgers traded him to the Indians. Johnson finished his career with the Angels before retiring at 35 in 1970.

Johnson was born on Sept. 22, 1934 in Lexington, Kentucky. People began calling him “Sweet Lou” when he joined the Dodgers because he always smiled and clapped. After his retirement, he continued working with the Dodgers in the community relations department. All together Johnson spent 40 years with the organization.

He is survived by his wife Sarah, and children Lauren, Carlton and Quinton.

[H/T: NBC]

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