Friday, March 9, 2012

Unpossible Autograph Friday- Darrell Johnson, Oriole #182

(Every Friday, I profile a former Oriole who has passed away. I've substituted the word unpossible for impossible as an homage to a line from "The Simpsons". Young Ralph Wiggum, who is a few pennies short of a dollar, says "Me fail English? That's unpossible.")   

Getting back to my countdown profiling the deceased Orioles based upon when they debuted in Baltimore; up today is Oriole #182, Darrell Johnson, who made his O's debut on May 27, 1962. He played only six games for the Orioles, and it was the final big league action of his six major league seasons that stretched over a ten year period. He played in only 134 MLB games over those six seasons, and the 51 games he appeared in during his 1952 rookie campaign were the most of any single season.

Apparently, the Orioles mainly acquired Darrell from the Reds to become a coach but they had the opportunity to active him as a player if needed, which paid off for those six games. I don't think I've heard that one before, but it led to some minor league managing assignments throughout the Oriole farm system over the next few years. He went on to manage in the Majors for the Red Sox, Mariners, and Rangers. He continued to stay involved with baseball as a scout throughout the rest of his life. He passed away due to complications of leukemia in 2004; he was 75 years old. RIP Darrell.

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