Bart Johnson, a first-round White Sox draft pick in 1968 who pitched for the organization his entire career from 1969 to 1977, died Wednesday. He was 70.
Johnson was a Sox scout from 1980-97 and also scouted for the Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals.
A hard-throwing right-hander, Johnson made his major league debut at age 19, appearing in four games (three starts) in September of 1969 and posting a 3.22 ERA. He led the 1971 Sox with 14 saves and made 16 starts, posting 12 wins and recording a 2.93 ERA with 153 strikeouts. In September of that season, Johnson had back to back games with 12 strikeouts.
Johnson was limited to nine appearances, all in relief, in 1972 because of knee problems and he missed the 1975 season with a back injury.
“Sad day for the White Sox organization,” Sox broadcaster Steve Stone said on Twitter. “A teammate of mine passed away. Bart Johnson’s journey is over. He was a wonderful athlete who played basketball as well as he played baseball. His arm was as good as Goose Gossage’s arm. He was a great baseball scout and a fine human being.”
Johnson made 97 starts in his career and posted a 43-51 record and 3.94 ERA.