Saturday, February 24, 2024

#227 Frank Johnson - San Francisco Giants

Frank Herbert Johnson
San Francisco Giants

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  6'1"  Weight:  155
Born:  July 22, 1942, El Paso, TX
Signed:  Signed by the San Francisco Giants as an amateur free agent before 1961 season
Major League Teams:  San Francisco Giants 1966-1971

Between 1961 and 1971, Frank Johnson was an outfielder in the Giants' organization and his only full season in the major leagues came in 1968.  Johnson was used sparingly by the Giants in 1966 and 1967, appearing in a total of 23 games as a September call-up both seasons.  He made the Giants' opening day roster in 1968, and made starts at third base, shortstop, center field and left field.  Johnson spent most of 1969 back in the minor leagues and enjoyed his best professional season in 1970.  With the Phoenix Giants, he started that season by batting .353 in 29 games before earning a promotion in mid-May.  Johnson batted .273 in 67 games, setting career highs with 44 hits and 31 RBIs.

He'd leave the Giants following the 1971 season, playing a year in Japan with the Lotte Orions.  Johnson spent the next three seasons playing in the minor league systems of the Padres and back with the Giants before retiring in 1975.  In 196 big league games, Johnson batted .211 with four home runs and 43 RBIs.

1971 Topps #128
Building the Set / 
Card #226
March 12, 2023 from The Philly Show (Uncle Dick's Cards)
In mid-March, Doug and I attended the Philadelphia Sports Collectors Show, held within the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pennsylvania.  My main focus for this show was accumulating as many 1969 Topps commons as possible, which I did by adding a grand total of 193 cards to our set.  That's almost 30% of the entire set added in one enjoyable afternoon.  I wrote a full summary of the show in a post over at The Phillies Room, found here.

This is the 149th of the 193 commons and semi-stars purchased, pulled and stacked from the first two neon green binders housing 1969 Topps cards at the multi-table spread of Uncle Dick's Cards from Babylon, New York.  My method was simple - I pulled up a chair, found a card I needed, picked the best of the group from the binder page and set it aside.  After each 100 cards, I'd ask the dealer to tell me how much damage I had done so far.  With a budget in mind, I kept going twice, continuing after card #100 and card #200, and stopping at card #298.  The final amount due was 17% off the sticker price for the pile of 193 cards, with this card costing me $1.25.

The Card / Giants Team Set / Accuracy Index +5
This is Johnson's rookie card, and he'd only appear once more in a Topps set, in 1971.  According to Baseball Reference, Johnson wore #20 during the 1968 and 1969 seasons, so this photo could be fairly recent compared to other photos so far in the set.  There's an uncorrected error on the back of the card within the cartoon, as it refers to Johnson having played three infield positions with the Cubs (and not the Giants).

Accuracy Index:  Johnson's card receives a +5.

1969 Season
It looks as if Johnson again made the Giants' opening day roster, but he played in just seven games through early May before being sent back down to the minors.  He batted .100 (1 for 10) in those seven games.  With the Phoenix Giants, Johnson played in 111 games, batting .255 while seeing playing time in the outfield, at first base and at third base.

Other Notable Baseball Cards

First Mainstream Card:  1969 Topps #227
Topps Flagship Set Appearances (2):  1969, 1971
Most Recent Mainstream Card:  2020 Topps Heritage Real One Autographs (High Number) #ROA-FJO
Total Non-Parallel Baseball Cards:  10 in the Beckett online database as of 2/4/24.

Baseball Reference / Wikipedia

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