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Jay Johnstone

Jay Johnstone (1945–2020), two-time World Series champion

by Kirk Fox

Jay Johnstone was a versatile outfielder who won a World Series title with the Dodgers and the Yankees.

  • Died: Saturday, September 26, 2020 (Who else died on September 26?) 
  • Details of Death: Died at the age of 74 from complications of COVID-19.
  • We invite you to share condolences for Jay Johnstone in our Guest Book.  

Versatile Outfielder

Johnstone had a long career as a Major League Baseball outfielder playing from 1966 until 1985. He played for many teams but may be best known for his time with the Dodgers from 1980 until 1982, winning the World Series with the club in 1981, and finishing his career there in 1985. He also won a World Series title with the Yankees in 1978. After baseball, Johnstone was an announcer and appeared in the movie “Naked Gun.”

Legendary Prankster 

The fun-loving Johnstone was known for his legendary pranks in the clubhouse. One time Johnstone and Dodgers pitcher Jerry Reuss dressed as groundskeepers in the middle of a game against the Pirates and groomed the infield between innings. They rushed back to the locker room and changed into their uniforms to return to the game. Reuss told the Los Angeles Times, “Tommy [Lasorda] met us at the bench, gave us an ass-chewing that was second to none and said, ‘Jay, you’re hitting for the pitcher.’ Jay went up and hit a homer [in a 6-2 win]. Who in the history of baseball has dragged the infield in the fifth inning and hit a pinch-hit homer in the sixth?” 


What they said about him 

Full Obituary: Los Angeles Times

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