Card: 2001 Bowman Heritage #350
Nicholas Robert "Nick" Johnson (born in Sacramento, CA, September 19, 1978) is a former first baseman and designated hitter. During his career Johnson played for the New York Yankees (2001–2003; 2010), Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals (2004–2009), Florida Marlins (2009), and Baltimore Orioles (2012). In 2002, Nick was named to the 2002 Topps All-Star Rookie Team.
"It is easy to forget just how highly regarded (Nick) Johnson was, and why. But when he was starting out, he looked to many sane observers like nothing less than a future Hall of Famer. The Yankees drafted [Nick] in the third round of the 1996 draft, and from the moment he signed, he hit the ball well, and posted absurdly high on-base percentages. He broke 1.000 O.P.S. at Single-A in 1998, thanks to a .466 on-base percentage, for instance.
Here's Baseball Prospectus on Johnson, back in 1999: 'Johnson has drawn comparisons to Will Clark, but I see him more as Jim Thome, without the fashion statement. Johnson is going to be great; the only question is opportunity.'" - By Howard Megdal (Capital New York, 01/29/2013, 'The end of Nick Johnson, could-have-been baseball titan', Source)
Nick was known for his patience and discipline at the plate, which led to him having a career on-base percentage of .399. Lifetime, with the bases loaded he had a .370 batting average, a .444 on-base percentage, 72 runs batted in, and 2 grand slams in 73 at-bats.
Nick scored the first run in Washington National's history in 2005, and was also the last remaining player on the Nationals' roster to relocate with the team from Montreal, before being traded to the Marlins at the 2009 non-waiver trade deadline.
Watch, and listen to legendary Yankee announcer John Sterling call Nick's 2-run homer in the 2003 ALCS here.
Unfortunately, despite an amazing eye at the plate, ability to make contact, and clutch hitting, Nick's career never reached what was thought to be his potential as he was limited by prevalent and recurring injuries.
He is the nephew of Larry Bowa. His grandfather, Paul Bowa also played MiLB with the Sacramento Salons.
Nick is part of the Born in San Fran/Oakland/Sacramento Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Nick is also part of the New York Yankee Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
See all of Nick’s baseball cards at TCDB
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