Dodgers: 1965 World Series Hero Sweet Lou Johnson Passes Away

Only a Dodger for a short period, but forever loved.

Another sad day for Dodgers fan as another World Series hero passes away. Just days after it was announced that Jay Johnstone had passed away due to complications from COVID-19, the team announces that Sweet Lou Johnson has also passed. He had just celebrated his 86th birthday at the end of September. 

Dodgers fans who have been around long enough will remember Johnson’s contributions during the 1965 World Series. His big homerun off of Jim Kaat in Game 7 propelled Los Angeles to a championship over the Minnesota Twins. Johnson’s homerun produced the only runs scored in that game. 

That wasn’t the only Dodgers moment that Johnson was a part of. When Sandy Koufax threw a perfect game in September of 1965, Johnson was the only batter in the entire game to get a hit and bring across the run that helped Koufax to earn perfection. 

Johnson made it to the big leagues during the 1965 season when starting outfielder Tommy Davis suffered a broken ankle. That paved the way for Johnson to become the starting outfielder for the year and to make the tremendous impact that he did. In total, Johnson ended up playing 8 years at the big league level for 5 different teams

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  1. It wasn’t just the hit – a double which didn’t even figure in the scoring. Johnson was the only batter on either team to get on base the entire game. The at bat before he doubled, he walked, was sacrificed to second, stole third and scored when the Cubs catcher overthrew third. That was it. Pretty sure that it still the record for batting futility in a major league game. I was a six year old, attending my first major league. At the time, I was really bored because nothing happened. RIP Sweet Lou!

  2. It’s funny because I’ve been a Dodger fan since 1951. I loved Gil Hodges in Brooklyn and two very nondescript Dodgers in Los Angeles, Chuck Essegian and Sweet Lou Johnson. May he rest in peace. God speed Sweet Lou.

  3. RIP Sweet Lou. One of my 1st two baseball heroes. He hit the winning HR off Bob Veale, helping Sandy Koufax beat the Pirates 5-1 in my 1st Dodger game, back in Sept, 1966. Always smiling & a true gentleman, I doubt any player enjoyed playing more than he did.