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Lance Johnson
vs. the Mets
Lance Johnson
vs. Other Teams
Game Log Memories of
Lance Johnson
Lance Johnson
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 101 of 1043 players
Kenneth Lance Johnson
Born: July 6, 1963 at Cincinnati, O.
Throws: Left Bats: Left
Height: 5.11 Weight: 165

Lance Johnson was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on September 23, 2008, September 24, 2008, March 23, 2011, and December 5, 2012.


First Mets game: April 1, 1996
Last Mets game: August 7, 1997

Share your memories of Lance Johnson


Did this guy get black-balled by Valentine or what? All he did was shatter the team record for hits in a season by 36! And the knock on his defense was overdone - he may have played deeper than others, but, he CAUGHT the balls he got to, and he was not a liability like others who will remain nameless. Lance Johnson was a great Met, and it was a travesty that hot July day in 97, when Steve Phillips tanked with the trade for Rojas, McRae, and Wendell (okay maybe not Turk). Bobby V's hands were red that day!

Joe "Metsie" Feltman
The trade for McCrae and Turk may not have been a shrewd one, but it worked out very well for the Mets. Steve must have been rubbing his lucky rabbit foot the day this trade went down. And if you think Lance would have helped the Mets if he stayed, check out his stats since the trade. If you look back at the '96 season you've gotta believe that Lance, Todd and Bernard made a deal with the devil because they haven't been the same since that year.

The only player I can remember who had his career knocked off track due to shin splints. He was a hitting machine in '96. Mets still wish they could get a leadoff hitter as good as he was that year.

Mr. Sparkle
December 22, 2000
I remember pounding on my steering wheel as I was driving down to the Jersey shore the day they traded him away and I heard about it on the FAN. I still think that was a lousy trade that cost them the playoffs that year although it worked in the Mets favor after that. One dog was awesome. I still can't believe he blew Mookies tripple record away. He was a worthy player to break a Mookie record it's just a shame they dumped him. Ditto Roger Cedeno. If someone is going to break one of Mookie's records it would be nice to keep the guy around!

Won Doney
January 12, 2001
I don't know what was going through Steve Phillips's mind when he traded him.

Wendell, McRae, and Rojas for him? Rojas was an awful pitcher, and Mcrae was all right but was traded. Wendell was the only one who worked out in the long run.

March 16, 2001
He had some good years but nothing like '96. He was awesome, but also an enigma. Hell, you can't argue with his numbers. But for a leadoff hitter, he swung at way too many first pitches, and didn't walk nearly enough. Other than that, he had one of if not the best years ever for a Mets leadoff hitter. I wish we could bottle whatever he had that year and give it to Timo Perez this season!

Coach HoJo 20
March 23, 2001
Great player. I was pissed off when the traded him. I my anger about this trade grew as Rojas continually blew games. But in the end everything worked out. We have the Turk.

PS - Even Lance sold his soul to the devil known as Steinbrenner

Joe Figliola
August 23, 2001
Lance Johnson was one of the most exciting players in Met history. I loved his attitude ("I'm a leadoff hitter, not a leadoff walker") and how he glided around the bases when he hit his triples.

I was very upset when the Mets traded him in '97. He easily would've been up there in the club's all-time hits and triples lists. He was a pleasure to score (the 49 hits he achieved in 36 games that I scored in 1996 remains a JF record--Edgardo Alfonzo would match it in 2000).

He also was a class act. I remember when Mookie Wilson was inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame, Lance gave up uniform number 1 to wear 51 that day to help make Mookie's day more special.

Miss 'ya, Lance!

February 27, 2002
Signed to a minor league deal by the Expos last week. I thought it was some kind of joke.

Johnson still remains one of the best free agent signings the Mets ever made. His 1996 season was absolutely huge. 227 hits, 21 triples, 50 stolen bases and only 40 strikeouts...unimaginable.

Steven G
August 28, 2002
While Lance Johnson put up outstanding numbers in 1996, I always felt he was a "me" ball player.

For one, as a leadoff hitter, he would always swing at the first pitch, especially a problem when the pitcher was just up and needed some rest before going back out to the mound.

Secondly, he mentioned that 1996 was the most enjoyable season of his career, when the Mets finished 71-91. Wouldn't you think that 1993, when his Chicago White Sox won the division, would have been his most enjoyable? I always thought winning was most important.

The trade, admittedly, had its ups and downs, but Brian McRae turned into Darryl Hamilton, who helped the Mets make the playoffs in 1999.

And as somebody previously mentioned, check out "One Dog's" (ridiculous nickname) stats after he left the Mets.

Bill V
October 22, 2002
Saw Steven G's comment about 1 Dog being a ridiculous nickname. Having lived in Chicago for 12 years, I can tell you he was given that name by Ken Harrelson, longtime Sox announcer, and one of the most annoying broadcaster's in baseball history. Harrelson is also responsible for Frank Thomas' "The Big Hurt".

How I miss the Ralph, Lindsey and Bob Murphy trio!

Feat Fan
February 21, 2004
Look again at those '96 numbers. 62 extra-base hits as a speedy leadoff man. Those stats rank among the most impressive single season marks in recent history.

Big Ben
February 15, 2005
Had his best season as a Met and was dumped just as he was going downhill. I remember he said that he had told his two children he would get 100 hits for each of them in '96. He ended up with 227.

Jonathan Stern
February 28, 2005
In 1992, the Mets enthused, "New York is going to love Bill Pecota." We didn't. In 1996, Lance Johnson enthused, "New York is going to love me." We did. Then he was gone, in a hurry.

May 22, 2005
Lance Johnson was just spectacular with the Mets in 1996. He did very well in 1997 before he got traded. His time with the Mets was underappreciated. The One Dog had one of the best individual performances in Mets' history. He was an All-Star, got an astounding 21 triples and 227 hits. He stole 50 bases and batted .333. Lance knocked in 69 runs, with an impressive 33 doubles and 9 HRs as well. His defense was very good too. He struck out only 40 times. Sure, he didn't walk much, but if a guy can hit .333 and get tons of triples, you don't want him looking for a walk. I think he was the only player to lead the AL in hits and then lead the NL in hits the following year. He was a brilliant acquisition. It's a shame that injuries derailed a great career.

February 6, 2010
Lance should have been named MVP of the 1996 All-Star Game!

Evan Smith
February 7, 2010
Lance was one of the most exciting offensive and defensive centerfielders the Mets ever had.

Quality Met
February 15, 2010
Eljay, I agree with you 100%. Lance definately was the MVP of the '96 All-Star Game. He played the entire game, got three hits and scored the winning run. He did more than anyone to lead the National League to victory that night. It was wrong that he did not get the award.

Queens native
April 24, 2012
Two quick memories related to Lance Johnson.

First, he autographed a baseball for my friend Adam. He addressed it, "To Atom."

Second, I was among a group of lucky kids who had the chance to participate in a clinic in the outfield at Shea Stadium with Bobby Jones. At one point, Jones kicked at the centerfield turf as if he were digging in on a pitching rubber. After kicking loose a small divot, he said, "Lance is going to kill me."

August 28, 2012
One-Dog was legit. He had quite an amazing season and would be a great answer to some trivia questions. I don't know much about him feuding with Bobby V, but I guess I have yet to see those comments from newspaper archives.

It's simply amazing though how much of an impact Johnson had on the Mets and their history...and in not even 2 full seasons. And everyone else here is right about how much Johnson declined after getting traded away. The Mets simply had trouble getting solid outfielders long-term throughout the 1990s. It's sorta sad to be honest that One-Dog was the Mets' best center fielder, or even best outfielder for that decade. But at the same time, it goes to show how remarkable his 1996 season really was. And unlike Hundley and Gilkey, I don't think One-Dog was juicing that year because he never had power and had a proven track record beforehand.

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