July 25, 2005 I grew up in PA. but followed the Oakland A's from 1968 to the present. The only games on TV back then were the Phillies. I followed the A's on the radio whenever they played on the East Coast. For some reason I chose Deron Johnson as my favorite player. He didn't hit for average and struck out a lot but he could hit home runs and many times they were monster ones.
After five years in Philly I found out he was traded. To my surprise he was traded to the A's. Within weeks after the trade I went to Yankee Stadium to see him play. It was the last time I saw Deron in person and he did not let me down, hitting a HR.
That year he finished second on the team in homers, second only to some guy named "Reggie". Johnson has since passed away but for me I can still remember listening to my radio late at night from stations in Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Detroit, and Boston, waiting for his next AB.
January 15, 2006 My mother and father divorced when I was very young but my Mom always told me that my father named me after a baseball player he met when the Yankees invited my Dad to try out at spring training. My Mom was not into sports so she never knew anything about the player and my father and I were never close and he has sinced passed away. It wasn't until I was all grown up and a fence salesman was in my backyard and asked for the spelling of my name and he said, "oh, like the old baseball player." Since then I have slowly collected Deron Johnson baseball cards and memorabilia. I was disappointed to find out that he had passed away. I would have like to have tried to talk to him and see if he remembered my father. Thanks for reading my story and I will keep checking back here to read any more Deron Johnson stories.
February 12, 2006 Played for the A's against the Mets in the 1973 Fall Classic. In his book, Screwball, Tug McGraw recounts a funny off-the-field exchange between the two. They were neighbors during the off-season and Tug didn't think Johnson's performance during the post-season was too neighborly. I believe it came at Tug's expense.
February 22, 2007 Slugging and strapping. I watched three stunning blondes openly pursue him during pre-game warm ups in '66. Former Yankee who busted out in '65 knocking in 130 runs. Played 1b-3b-lf. After a few off years, found a home in Philly and slammed a career best 34 home runs in early 70's. From San Diego.
March 16, 2007 I believe that Deron Johnson played through the 1968 season for the Atlanta Braves with a broken hand that went undiagnosed.
Roger Maris suffered a similiar injury that went uundetected by the medical technology of the time.
Johnson rebounded with the Phillies who picked him up cheaply to compensate for the loss of Dick Allen.
His 1970 Strat-O-Matic card was excellent!
Fortunately Johnson was able to get a World Series ring with the 1973 A's.
April 24, 2009 I was also named after Deron Johnson. My mother met him while he was was with the Phillies. I didn't even realize he was a Met. There must have been something special about Mr. Johnson...aside from baseball! My father knew him personally and said he was a good guy. Looks like he was a tremendous player as well. Rest in Peace - Deron Johnson.