Dec 22, 2009

non-HOF Profile Derby #7: Bob Johnson

When you think of consistency and reliability, what do you think of? The taste of Coca-cola, the sun rising in the east, cereal and milk in the morning? I think of the performance on the baseball field of one Robert Lee "Indian Bob" Johnson (1933-1945)
Place on the WAR chart: Below Enos Slaughter and above Jimmy Collins and Harry Hooper.
Career Overview Stuck in the minors until the age of 27, he played with the Philadelphia Athletics (33-42), Washington Senators (43), and Boston Red Sox (44-45). He was an 8 time all-star and led the league in OBP,OPS, and OPS+ once. he was top ten in SLG 10 times and top ten in HR 11 times. He was one of the first to have 9 consecutive 20 HR seasons. He also had 8 100 RBI seasons. His most similar comparisons for his career were Brian Giles, Ellis Burks, and Moises Alou, but he fit more production into less years than all of them.

The Final Numbers: He hit .296/.393/.506 (138 OPS+) with 1239 R, 298 HR, 1283 RBI and a 1075/851 BB/K ratio over 13 seasons. His 162 game average for his career was 108 R, 25 HR, and 112 RBI.
Why He Should be Remembered: A strong performer on some weak teams in the post-Depression-World War II era, he really never had exposure during his playing career. Think of the underappreciated players over the years: (Brian Giles, Bobby Abreu, Mike Cameron spring to mind) who were all-star caliber players and for the majority of their careers were unrecognized. Well, Bob Johnson was there first. Plus, he actually was a Hall of Fame caliber player on the level of Chuck Klein and Joe Medwick (without the Triple Crown) and above the level of Earl Averill
HOF Balloting Performance:0.8% in 1948 and 0.5% in 1956
Some Known Cards 1939 Play Ball #97, 1934 Goudey #68

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