LOS ANGELES – “Sweet” Lou Johnson, who hit a key home run for the victorious Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series against Minnesota, passed away last night at the age of 86.
Johnson, who was born Louis Brown Johnson in Lexington, KY on Sept. 22, 1934, received the nickname Sweet Lou upon joining the Dodgers early in 1965 after outfielder Tommy Davis suffered an injury. Johnson received the nickname because of his infectious smile and because he was always 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 & 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.”
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).
Johnson played in 677 games and hit .258 with 48 homers and 232 RBI in his career, and 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. 58RBI and 15 stolen bases. Johnson 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.
Between his time as a player and a front office employee in the Community Relations Department, Johnson worked for the Dodgers for 40 seasons. He lived in Los Angeles and is survived by his wife Sarah and children Lauren, Carlton and Quinton. Funeral services are pending.