Not to be lost in all of the unfortunate loss over these past few days, the Dodgers and their fanbase lost a great one this past week. Former outfielder and member of the 1981 World Series championship team Jay Johnstone passed away after a battle with COVID-19. His daughter confirmed the news on social media, and the team later posted their condolences.
Fans who have been around long enough to remember Johnstone might remember that he was quite the prankster around the Dodgers clubhouse. That translated into a career after baseball where he appeared on ESPN’s The Lighter Side of Sports, as well as programs such as Baseball’s Funniest Pranks and Super Sports Follies.
The Dodgers are saddened by the passing of former Dodger Jay Johnstone and offer their deepest condolences to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/DePWvZX0le
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 28, 2020
Johnstone was also key to the 1981 World Series run over the Yankees. His biggest playoff moment was during game 4 when he hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the 6th inning to help propel the Dodgers to the win. Los Angeles went on to take the series two games later.
Friend and former LA general manager Fred Claire shared some thoughts on the late outfielder.
The passing of Jay Johnstone was very sad but hearing from mutual friends today about what a wonderful person Jay was brought warm memories and, of course, smiles. https://t.co/ig8T2XGbYj pic.twitter.com/HpDr7zCQ17
— Fred Claire (@Fred_Claire) September 30, 2020
Johnstone played a 20-year career that saw him spend four total seasons in Los Angeles. The former Dodgers outfielder is survived by his wife Mary and his daughter. Johnstone was just 74-years-old at the time of his passing.
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