COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Johnson, a former two-sport athlete at Texas A&M, was named the NL Manager of the Year in a vote by the league’s sportswriters MLB announced on Tuesday.
Johnson led the Nationals to the franchise’s first division title since 1981 when they were the Montreal Expos. He led Washington to a 98-64 record before they eventually lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the decisive fifth game of the NL Division Series.
A shortstop for the Aggies in 1962, Johnson appeared in all 25 games, hitting .309 with seven doubles, six home runs and 19 RBI as A&M went 18-7 on the year, including 11-4 in the SWC.
Johnson also played basketball for A&M, appearing in 21 of 24 games during the 1961-62 season. He averaged 1.8 points per game, including a career-high 11 in a game against Arkansas.
The graduate of Alamo Heights High School in San Antonio has logged a 1,286-955 record as an MLB manager and he won a World Series title with the New York Mets in 1986. His .564 winning percentage ranks 10th all-time among managers with at least 1,000 career wins. He has managerial stints with the Mets (1984-90), Cincinnati Reds (1993-95). Baltimore Orioles (1996-97), Los Angeles Dodgers (1999-2000) and Nationals (2011-present).
Johnson becomes one of six managers to win the award in both leagues, joining Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa, Lou Piniella, Jim Leyland and Bob Melvin. He was named the American League Manager of the Year in 1997 when he led the Baltimore Orioles to an AL East crown with a 98-64 record.
The last player to get a hit off Sandy Koufax, Johnson played 13 years in the Major Leagues including eight years with the Orioles. He finished in third place in AL Rookie of the Year voting in 1996. He played in four MLB All-Star Games (1968, ’69, ’70 and ’73) and won Gold Gloves at second base in 1969-71.