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Dan Johnson hits first three homers on season’s final day

Oct 3, 2012, 10:47 PM EDT

Dan Johnson Getty Images

Sure, Miguel Cabrera won the Triple Crown. But that’s only because no one wanted to give Dan Johnson 550 at-bats.

Johnson hit his first three homers of the season for the White Sox in a 9-0 win over the Indians on Wednesday. He took David Huff deep in the second and fifth innings and then hit the second of back-to-back homers with Dayan Viciedo off Vinnie Pestano in the ninth.

Johnson had just 17 at-bats this season going into the night. He was in the starting lineup primarily because the White Sox didn’t want Adam Dunn to get two strikeouts and break Mark Reynolds‘ single-season record of 223.

As you may remember, Johnson also came up big in last year’s season finale. Playing for the Rays, he hit a pinch-hit homer in the bottom of the ninth to send the game against the Yankees into extra innings. The Rays went on to win in 12 to overtake the Red Sox for the AL wild card.

In all, Johnson has 56 homers in 1,320 major league at-bats. The first 42 of those came with the A’s from 2005-07. After getting overtaken in Oakland’s plans, he briefly went to Japan, but didn’t find it to his liking. He’s mostly torn up Triple-A ever since. When he has played in the majors, he’s hit .184 with 12 homers and 40 walks in 217 at-bats over the last three years.

Johnson is 33 now and he’s not an exceptional first baseman, so it’s hard to say whether anyone will give him a real opportunity next spring. The White Sox don’t have room for him with Paul Konerko and Dunn under contract, so they’ll likely make him a free agent later this month.

  1. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Oct 3, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    I think Rotographs suggested picking up Dan Johnson for your fantasy team, because everyone knows he is a “final day of the season” rock star. I thought they were being tounge-in-cheek, but damn…

  2. vincentbojackson - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Good thing the Sox have Dunn locked up. Who know’s what this career one-tool guy would have commanded on the open market.

    • kkolchak - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:26 AM

      The Nats signed Adam LaRoche to replace Dunn for less than half of the money Dunn got. In return, LaRoche gave them a Gold Glove caliber season at first base while hitting only eight fewer dingers than Dunn and being a much better overall hitter. That’s an object lessen that GMs should never let themselves be blinded by light tower power.

  3. florida727 - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    I think this is great for Dan Johnson. If it’s truly his last hurrah, what a way to go out!

  4. pinstripecameraman - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    So 2 differernt players hit 3 homers in a game on the season’s final day? Johnson and Evan Longoria. Now that’s an exclamation point to a very memerable season.

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