Monday, September 30, 2013

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #64 LANCE JOHNSON


SEEING TRIPLE.




HIT HIS ONLY HR IN '93 AT A MOST CRITICAL TIME.


DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • The triple is considered by many to be baseball's most exciting play. With that in mind, you could say Lance Johnson was one of the game's most exciting players during a 14-year career, eight with the White Sox. Johnson legged out 117 triples, including 21 in 1996, the most since '51. He led the majors in three-baggers three times and his league twice. He hit .291 with 321 steals as a top-of-the-order nuisance. 

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Johnson got the White Sox even in the ALCS against the Blue Jays in Game 4 on Oct. 9, 1993. He hit his first homer of the season in the second inning off Todd Stottlemyre to give Chicago a 2-0 lead and then tripled in the tying and go-ahead runs in the sixth, also off Stottlemyre, in the 7-4 victory.

DEFINING SEASON

  • Free-agents coming to New York usually go one of two ways: hit or bomb. Johnson was a colossal hit with the Mets in '96. He led the NL in hits with 227, the majors in triples and stole a career-high 50 bases. He was an All-Star for the first and only time and even chipped in nine homers and 69 RBI.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Fittingly drafted by the Cardinals in '84 out of the University of South Alabama.
  2. On Sept. 23, 1995, Johnson became the 20th player in the AL to hit three triples in a game, part of a six-hit performance.
  3. Became a triples savant beginning in '91, and from then through '94 was the first player to lead the league four consecutive years.
  4. One of four players (Sam Crawford, Stan Musial, Willie Wilson) to lead the league in triples five times.
  5. Third player ever (Crawford, #6 Brett Butler) to lead the NL and AL in triples.

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