26 December 2011

jay johnstone came, saw, conquered, left, and later returned

after facing the dodgers in the 1978 world series as a member of the yankees (he appeared in two games without an at bat), and splitting the 1979 season between new york and san diego, jay johnstone was signed by al campanis as a free agent.  we were rewarded with a nice 1980 o-pee-chee team and text variation, and a year later got this run of the mill 1981 o-pee-chee card. 
as a dodger, jay performed a bunch of pranks on teammates and manager tommy lasorda, but came through on the field when it counted.  he hit .307 in 120 games in 1980, and after a lackluster showing in the 1981 regular season, he went 2 for 3 with a big two-run pinch-hit homer in the 1981 world series against the yankees.   after an appearance on solid gold with teammates steve yeager, rick monday, and jerry reuss, johnstone returned to the dodgers for the 1982 season.  a couple months in, however, he was released.  fortunately for fans of practical jokes everywhere, the cubs took a chance and signed johnstone to a contract.

here's his 1983 o-pee-chee card
but, we all know that if there is any card that should be used to represent johnstone's time with the cubs, it's his 1984 fleer card
in his two-plus seasons as a cub, johnstone hit .257 in 236 games.  he also hit the final 16 home runs of his career, the last of which was a pinch-hit job off of hall of famer phil niekro.  the cubs, who were making their run towards the playoffs, released johnstone in september and he failed to latch on with another team until the following winter.  that's when the dodgers came calling again, and brought johnstone back, giving him dodger douple dipper status.

here's his 1986 topps card (no o-pee-chee for jay, unfortunately)
it also serves as his final tribute, as 1985 was his final season in the big leagues.  it's also a card that johnstone signed for me through the mail last year
here's to you, jay johnstone, another dodger double dipper!

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