Monday, November 14, 2016

Former AL Umpire Mark Johnson Passes Away

20-year American League umpire Mark Stephen Johnson passed away on October 26, 2016 in Hawaii, reportedly as the result of a heart attack. He was 65 years old and would have turned 66 on Friday.

Card for AL Umpire Mark Johnson
Born on November 18, 1950 in Louisville, Kentucky, Johnson hired into the Gulf Coast League in 1971, whereupon he traveled through the Florida State, Southern, and Pacific Coast Leagues before promoting to the AL full-time in 1984, having served as a fill-in since his first big league game in August 1979.

Johnson, who ejected 43 players and coaches in his 1,994 regular and postseason games, officiated the 1996 American League Division Series, 1991 League Championship Series, 1993 World Series, and 1990/'99 MLB All-Star Game, before the umpires' collective bargaining strategy cost him his job midway through the 1999 season.

Following his retirement, Johnson moved to Oahu.

In December 2004, Johnson was awarded $325,000 from baseball as part of a settlement that saw three umpires rehired (Bob Davidson, Tom Hallion, Ed Hickox), and six more receive severance pay and health benefits (Jim Evans, Dale Ford, Eric Gregg, Ken Kaiser, Johnson, Larry McCoy).

Johnson, whose obituary was published this weekend in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, died in Oahu, Hawaii and leaves behind wife Lilia and son Kyle.


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