Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dave Johnson, 1990 Leaf #434

One of my favorite things about baseball is all of that gooey human-interest junk. So I was happy to see that the Orioles called up Steve Johnson, son of Dave. Papa J. pitched for the O's from 1989 through 1991, and memorably tossed 4 complete games in his first 10 starts as a 29-year-old rookie for the "Why Not?" team. There are some parallels between the two generations. Both were born and raised in Baltimore rooting for the Birds, and both paid their dues in the minor leagues. Dave had a cup of coffee with the Pirates in 1987 (the year of his son's birth) but didn't get an extended look in the majors until his eighth pro season. Steve, who was drafted by the Dodgers out of St. Paul's High School in the 13th round of the 2005 draft, is poised to make his big league debut in his eighth season of pro ball. After scuffling in his first taste of AAA competition last year, the younger Johnson seemed to figure some things out in early 2012. He's put up a 2.73 ERA this season at Norfolk, with a 1.07 WHIP and 63 strikeouts in 62.2 innings. He's been even better since a shift to the bullpen for long relief, allowing a single earned run in 17 innings while striking out 24.

When Steve toes the rubber for the first time in an Orioles uniform, he and Dave will go down in the books as the sixth father and son combo in team history. The others are the Kennedys (Bob and Terry), the Bufords (Don and Damon), the O'Donoghues (John and John), the Mays (Dave and Derrick), and the Raineses (Tim, Sr. and Tim, Jr.). If you're keeping an eye out for the next family connection in Charm City, you could be waiting for a bit. 24-year-old Steven Bumbry is currently hitting .170 through his first 29 games at AA Bowie, and Ryan Ripken is expected to attend the University of South Carolina in the fall on an athletic scholarship. If brother duos are your thing, Zach Britton's 26-year-old brother Buck is hitting .283/.349/.428 with 28 RBI in 48 games with Bowie. There's also the Bundy brothers, although older sibling Bobby is taking his lumps with the Baysox (2-9, 4.79 ERA, 1.5 WHIP).

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