Bob “Rocky” Johnson

1954 Edina-Morningside grad and 11-year major league middle infielder BobRockyJohnson was born on March 4, 1936 in Omaha, NE. Johnson’s father had grown up in the Twin Cities and the family returned to Minneapolis in December 1947.

Johnson, who signed with the Detroit Tigers out of high school, made his major league debut with the Kansas City Athletics on April 19, 1960 at age 24, drawing a walk as a pinch hitter.

In total, he played 874 major league games over parts of 11 seasons with the Kansas City Athletics, Senators, Orioles, Mets, Reds, Braves, Cardinals, and Oakland A’s, hitting .272 with 628 hits and 44 home runs. He played 71 regular season games for the eventual 1966 World Series Champion Orioles.

He singled off Jack Kralick in his first two major league at-bats in Minnesota on July 25, 1961. He played 75 games against the Twins overall, hitting .283 with five home runs, including two each off Jim Kaat and 1954 Sebeka High School graduate Dick Stigman.

Johnson earned a reputation as a proficient pinch hitter over the course of his career. He strung together six consecutive pinch hits in 1964, an American League record he owned for 17 years before Bill Stein broke it in 1981.

Johnson, who lives in St. Paul these days, was inducted into the Edina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1999.

Stew Thornley wrote about Johnson for the Halsey Hall SABR book Minnesotans in Baseball (click here).

Read the Complete Twins Almanac for March 4–10 on Twins Daily.



  1. Anonymous

    from SABR bio (Thornley) In the lower-level family room of his home on the east side of St. Paul, where he and Karen have lived since 1964, Johnson has some mementos from his career, including several baseballs. One is from his 500th career hit, off Al McBean in 1967 (“I knew I wasn’t going to get to a thousand, so I kept the 500th,” he said); another is the ball from his sixth consecutive pinch-hit; and the prize is the ball he hit for a home run on Opening Day in 1962.

  2. Anonymous

    I was a hospital chaplain in 2001 and Bob came in to visit a friend. He and I had a long, heartfelt talk that I remember to this day. He even let me put his World Series Ring on my hand, but for just a second.

  3. Pingback: The Twins Almanac for April


Back to Top