New Arrival: “Indian Bob” Johnson, IF/OF, 1933-1945

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Bob Johnson was a very good ballplayer for a very long time, but was generally stuck playing on some terrible teams…so it looks like many people have forgotten about him.

And that is a shame.  He was a really well rounded player, hitting for a good average with better than average power while also playing excellent defense.  There is not much here to dislike.

He was the fifth player in history to hit at least 20 HR in nine consecutive seasons.  He usually did not lead the league in any offensive category, but would generally always be in the Top 10 of just about every important offensive stat.  He was selected to eight All-Star teams, garnered MVP votes in six different seasons.  One of his best seasons was his second to last, where he would lead the league in AVG, OPS and OPS+.  He would still be putting up great numbers in 1945–280 AVG, .783 OPS for a 174 OPS+ and even rating #23 in the years MVP vote–but decided to retire since so many players where returning from the war.

I have seen some cut autographs of his from Upper Deck, but they are always a little pricey.  So for years I has an ebay search set up just to get a straight index card.  This finally popped up, and I won it for less that $10.

Year Age Tm Lg AB HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP OPS OPS+ Awards
1933 27 PHA AL 535 21 93 8 3 85 74 .290 .387 .892 135 MVP-15
1934 28 PHA AL 547 34 92 12 8 58 60 .307 .375 .938 143
1935 29 PHA AL 582 28 109 2 4 78 76 .299 .384 .894 130 AS
1936 30 PHA AL 566 25 121 6 6 88 71 .292 .389 .913 126
1937 31 PHA AL 477 25 108 9 7 98 65 .306 .425 .981 147
1938 32 PHA AL 563 30 113 9 8 87 73 .313 .406 .959 142 AS,MVP-17
1939 33 PHA AL 544 23 114 15 5 99 59 .338 .440 .993 156 AS,MVP-8
1940 34 PHA AL 512 31 103 8 2 83 64 .268 .374 .888 130 AS
1941 35 PHA AL 552 22 107 6 4 95 75 .275 .385 .863 130
1942 36 PHA AL 550 13 80 3 2 82 61 .291 .384 .835 135 AS
1943 37 WSH AL 438 7 63 11 5 64 50 .265 .362 .762 127 AS,MVP-5
1944 38 BOS AL 525 17 106 2 7 95 67 .324 .431 .959 174 AS,MVP-10
1945 39 BOS AL 529 12 74 5 3 63 56 .280 .358 .783 125 MVP-23
13 Yrs 6920 288 1283 96 64 1075 851 .296 .393 .899 139
162 Game Avg. 602 25 112 8 6 93 74 .296 .393 .899 139
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 12/28/2013.

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