Alex Johnson, AL batting champ in 1970, dies at age 72
DETROIT (AP) Alex Johnson, who played 13 years in the majors and won the AL batting title with the then-California Angels in 1970, has died. He was 72.
Alex Johnson Jr. said Wednesday that his father died Saturday of complications from prostate cancer.
The elder Johnson played for eight teams in a career that began in 1964 with Philadelphia, batting .288 with 78 homers and 525 RBIs. The left fielder was an All-Star for the Angels in 1970, and his final season was in 1976 with his hometown Detroit Tigers.
Johnson spent just two seasons with the Angels, but became the only batting champion in the 55-year-old franchise's history when he hit .329 in 1970. Johnson beat out Carl Yastrzemski for the crown on the final day of the season, going 2 for 3 and inching .0003 percentage points ahead of the Boston star.
Johnson was suspended several times by the Angels during his second season with the club in 1971, feuding with teammates before leaving Orange County.
He also played for the Cleveland Indians, St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers and New York Yankees.
Johnson's brother, Ron, was a running back for the New York Giants.
Alex Johnson Jr. recalled watching games with his father.
''He would critique from a technical standpoint,'' the younger Johnson said. ''A lot of the managers and coaches today he would know and say, `I played with this guy.'''
Funeral services are scheduled Friday at Sacred Heart Church in Detroit.