Dodgers: World Series hero Lou Johnson passes away at 86

Thomas Carannante
Former Dodger "Sweet" Lou Johnson lectures to participants at the Los Angeles Dodgers Women and Children's Baseball Clinic at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif. on Saturday, July 22, 2006. (Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images)
Former Dodger "Sweet" Lou Johnson lectures to participants at the Los Angeles Dodgers Women and Children's Baseball Clinic at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif. on Saturday, July 22, 2006. (Photo by Kirby Lee/Getty Images) /
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The Dodgers have lost a member of their family after Lou Johnson’s passing.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have plenty to celebrate after breezing by the Milwaukee Brewers and advancing to their eighth straight NLDS, but the organization is now grieving after the loss of a former player.

Lou Johnson, who spent three seasons with the team from 1965-1967 and played a prominent role in the team’s ’65 World Series victory, has passed away at the age of 86.

The Dodgers’ official Twitter account revealed the sad news this afternoon. Further details surrounding his death are unknown.

Johnson only played in parts of eight MLB seasons, with his career beginning in 1960, but he only appeared in 96 games between 1960-1964. The 1965 season was actually his first full big-league campaign (he logged 131 games) and he finished 24th in the MVP voting.

More importantly, he served as an unexpected catalyst for the Dodgers in Fall Classic that year, hitting .296 with a .914 OPS. In 29 plate appearances, he recorded three runs scored, eight hits (two home runs) and four RBI. One of those homers came in Game 7 with Sandy Koufax on the mound, which helped lift LAD to a 2-0 victory.

And here’s good old Vin Scully interviewing the young man.

Another notable achievement of Johnson’s during his career also came during the 1965 season. He recorded the only hit in Koufax’s perfect game against the Chicago Cubs, and it was a solo home run to give the Dodgers a 1-0 victory. The left-hander had to have loved this guy.

Johnson remained involved in some capacity with the Dodgers’ organization over the years, and here’s what president Sam Kasten had to say shortly after his passing:

"“Lou Johnson was such a positive inspiration at Dodger Stadium with our employees and our fans as well as throughout the community in the appearances he made on behalf of the organization. Dodger fans will always remember his important home run in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series, when he was clapping his hands running around the bases.”"

Our thoughts go out to Johnson’s family during this difficult time.

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