Former California Angels star Alex Johnson, the 1970
Johnson played with eight teams over 13 seasons in the 1960s and '70s, but the left fielder's best season in the majors came during his first season with the Angels, when he batted .329 with 86 RBIs and 14 home runs en route to capturing the AL batting title. He won the honor by the slimmest of margins, beating out Boston's
Johnson remains the only batting champion in Angels history.
Despite his achievement, Johnson fell out of favor with Angels Manager Lefty Phillips the following season. The team fined Johnson for failing to run out balls, and Phillips benched him multiple times for unenthusiastic play.
Johnson was fined a total of $3,750 by the team and eventually was suspended. He later was reinstated after the players union filed a grievance. The Angels then traded him to the
Johnson, who played in the 1970
In 1990, he told The Times he had never been to a major league game since his retirement, saying: "The game has no meaning for me anymore. I loved it. But I found out that the game is a fantasy."
Johnson was born in Helena, Ark., on Dec. 7, 1942. He signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1961 before making his major league debut with the team in July 1964.