Lou Johnson, Dodgers 1965 World Series hero, dies at 86

Ella Castle

Getty Images Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder and 1965 World Series champion “Sweet” Lou Johnson died Thursday, the team announced. He was 86. “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 […]

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Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder and 1965 World Series champion “Sweet” Lou Johnson died Thursday, the team announced. He was 86.

“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,” Dodgers president Stan Kasten said in a statement. “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.”

In Game 7 of the 1965 World Series, Johnson hit a solo home run off of Minnesota Twins lefty Jim Kaat in the top of the fourth inning to break a scoreless tie. His homer gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead, and eventually the club took home their fourth World Series title, winning Game 7, 2-0.

Johnson, a Lexington, Kentucky native, earned the nickname “Sweet Lou” after joining the Dodgers via trade for his infectious smile and energetic personality. He played a total of eight MLB seasons between 1960 and 1969 and spent time with the Cubs, Angels, Braves, Dodgers and Cleveland.

In his first season with the Dodgers, he as called up from the minors and hit .259 with 24 doubles, 12 homers. 58 RBI and 15 stolen bases. Johnson also scored the only run in Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax’s perfect game on Sept. 9, 1965 against the Chicago Cubs. Johnson walked in the fifth inning on a 3-2 pitch, advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt and later stole third base. He was able to score the lone run of the game on an error from Cubs catcher Chris Krug.

Johnson hit .258 with 48 homers and 232 RBI in his career, and helped the Dodgers to two postseason berths in 1965 and 1966.

After retirement, Johnson joined the Dodgers front office as an employee in the Community Relations Department. He is survived by his wife Sarah and children Lauren, Carlton and Quinton.

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