The Los Angeles Dodgers Friday announced the death of “Sweet” Lou Johnson, who hit a key home run in the team’s victory in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series against the Minnesota Twins.
Johnson, who lived in Los Angeles, died Thursday night, according to the team, which did not state the cause of death. He was 86.
Johnson joined the Dodgers early in 1965 after outfielder Tommy Davis suffered an injury. He got his Sweet Lou nickname because of his infectious smile and his habit of clapping his hands.
“Lou Johnson was such a positive inspiration at Dodger Stadium with our employees and our fans as well as throughout the community in the appearances he made on behalf of the organization,” said Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten. “Dodger fans will always remember his important home run in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series, when he was clapping his hands running around the bases.”
Between his time as a player and a front office employee in the Community Relations Department, Johnson worked for the Dodgers for 40 seasons.
Johnson played 17 seasons in professional baseball, including eight years in the Majors with the Chicago Cubs (1960, ’68), Angels (1961, ’69), Milwaukee Braves (1962), Dodgers (1965-67) and Cleveland Indians (1968).
He played in 677 games and hit .258 with 48 homers and 232 RBIs in his career.
Johnson helped the Dodgers to two postseason berths in 1965 and 1966. In 1965, he was called up and hit .259 with 24 doubles, 12 homers. 58 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. He also recorded the lone Dodgers hit and scored the lone run in Sandy Koufax’s perfect game on Sept. 9, 1965, against the Chicago Cubs.
He is survived by his wife Sarah and children Lauren, Carlton and Quinton. Funeral services are pending.
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