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Garland_IS_God
03-03-2008, 12:15 PM
Anybody ever hear of him? I guess he was a pitcher for the Sox in the early 70's. I frequent a bar called The Homestead on 87th Central and I guess hes there all the time. My fiances parents are up there a lot, and always tell me about him. I never heard of the guy before, just curious if anybody on the board remembers the name?

voodoochile
03-03-2008, 12:18 PM
Never heard of him, but I did a search for you...

http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/stats/historical/individual_stats_player.jsp?c_id=mlb&playerID=116571

KenBerryGrab
03-03-2008, 12:19 PM
Heck, yeah. Tall, lanky, good fastball. #2 pick in the '69 draft. Sox couldn't decide if he was a reliever or starter. He was in the pen until Forster and Gossage arrived. Never lived up to his draft position. '71 was probably his best year, IIRC.

Nellie_Fox
03-03-2008, 12:27 PM
Wow, it makes me feel really, really old that people don't remember "Blazin' Bart."

DumpJerry
03-03-2008, 12:30 PM
Wow, it makes me feel really, really old that people don't remember "Blazin' Bart."
Make that two of us.

www.baseball-reference.com can tell you plenty about him.

I remember him well. When I saw the thread title I was thinking someone wanted us to bring him back despite being in the Satchel Paige age group.....

Garland_IS_God
03-03-2008, 12:31 PM
I wish I woulda done a search beofre I posted. Theres an article on this site about him. Im gonna print it up and give it to my in-laws to give to him next time they see him.

http://www.whitesoxinteractive.com/rwas/index.php?category=11&id=3294

wilburaga
03-03-2008, 12:41 PM
I don't think the Sox have ever had a trio of young flamethrowers the caliber of Gossage, Forster, and 'Mr. Smoke'.

W

Lip Man 1
03-03-2008, 12:53 PM
Garland:

Bart already has his copy of the story.

:smile:

Lip

roylestillman
03-03-2008, 01:30 PM
Toward the end of Bart's stint with the Sox he started griping and said he wanted to be traded. Harry's comment from the booth was "Trade him? How'd want him?"

BeefyD
03-03-2008, 01:36 PM
I believe he resides in Westmont. I've had friends bump into him at the grocery store and such.

salty99
03-03-2008, 01:41 PM
He also attended Soxfest this year!!!!

Noneck
03-03-2008, 01:46 PM
He was the fictional character Gonzales Vorbeck (The Sox savior) that John Justin Smith (Chicago Daily News)wrote articles about while he was in the minors.

He was an amusing character tho, I remember him saying if things didn't work out in baseball he would just become a pro basketball player. I think he was a good high school player. (california boy I believe)

He had a real effortless delivery but could throw smoke.

He was one of my favs.

salty99
03-03-2008, 02:15 PM
He was the fictional character Gonzales Vorbeck (The Sox savior) that John Justin Smith (Chicago Daily News)wrote articles about while he was in the minors.

He was an amusing character tho, I remember him saying if things didn't work out in baseball he would just become a pro basketball player. I think he was a good high school player. (california boy I believe)

He had a real effortless delivery but could throw smoke.

He was one of my favs.

As Ed Farmer pointed out at Soxfest John Wooden recruited Bart to play basketball at UCLA.

Garland_IS_God
03-03-2008, 02:17 PM
Garland:

Bart already has his copy of the story.

:smile:

Lip

Kind of figured that out. lol

LITTLE NELL
03-03-2008, 03:12 PM
With the stuff he had there was no doubt he was an under-achiever for his career. Seem to remember Harry Caray getting on his case back in 72 0r 73 and some heated words were exchanged on the team bus.

NoNeckEra
03-03-2008, 03:15 PM
I remember his Afro hairdo, and that he used to virtually kick his left foot into his glove upon delivery.

North Sox Sider
03-03-2008, 03:59 PM
I actually met Bart Johnson in the mid 80's outside of Ohare waiting for a ride home. My dad and I were standing near the cab lane and we noticed this guy with a White Sox suitcase. My dad asked him if he was with the organization and it turns out that it was Bart Johnson. My dad chatted with him for a while and when his ride showed up, he opened his trunk and gave me a major league baseball bat. I couldnt believe it. I still have it to this day.

Chez
03-03-2008, 04:30 PM
Bart Johnson is just one name on a long list of "can't miss" Sox pitching prospects who, in fact, missed badly. I hope there isn't a thread in 30 years asking if anyone remembers Gavin Floyd! :cool:

billcissell
03-03-2008, 04:41 PM
Johnson could really bring it. I remember going to a game in County Stadium against the Brewers back in the early 70s. Johnson was in the bullpen and some Brewer fans were really giving him a hard time. He ended up going after them during the game, only to be restrained by several of his teammates in the pen. This altercation led to a big brawl in the bleachers between Sox fans and Brewer fans a few innings later.

Johnson and Forster looked like an outstanding 1-2 punch for the Sox in the early 70s. Unfortunately, they ended up like Prior and Wood. Lots of potential, and lots of disappointing results.

raven1
03-03-2008, 04:53 PM
Bart did an interesting seminar at this year's Soxfest, talking about the 70's teams along with Roland Hemond. Part of his problem of not living up to his potential was focus - "not knowing what he wanted to be when he grew up", for example he actually played basketball in the NBA a couple of off-seasons. It was injury that ended his career before he couple achieve his potential, at Soxfest he talked about the point where he injured his arm & never again had the dominant speed he had early on.

Procol Harum
03-03-2008, 05:05 PM
Bart Johnson had a great 2/3rds of a season in 1971--BLAZING fastball, was the big single difference in rescuing the '71 season from disaster to starting point for the 1970s franchise turnaround. As others have pointed out, he never did live up to his promise and the combo of injuries and the arrival of Terry Forster and Rich Gossage soon had him in the back of the bullpen.

He spent part of the '77 season with the Sox and was awful. Saw him pitch at the early July game where the Sox moved into 1st place with a come-from-behind victory (Jim Spencer's big 8-rbi game) against the Twins. I can honestly say I have never seen an MLB pitcher with a slower "fast ball" and less stuff on his breaking pitches--I cringed every time he threw the ball up there.

Yep, another "sure-fire" Sox pitching prospect who never panned out.

chisox77
03-03-2008, 05:58 PM
I remember Bart Johnson very well. He had a ton of ability. He was one of those players I always rooted for . . . I hope he is doing well these days.

He wore #24



:cool:

Lip Man 1
03-03-2008, 06:08 PM
Johnson never played in the NBA - read his interview with WSI and he had a number of serious injuries that derailed his career. When he was healthy as in 1971 and when he went 10-2 in a half season in 74 (or was it 75) he could dominate a game.

Lip

hose
03-03-2008, 06:28 PM
Bart Johnson Is probably my all time favorite White Sox.

A flame thrower that wore his hat lower than James Baldwin.:cool:


Injuries did Bart in and he never was the same.


I still can picture sitting in front of the tv and Bart coming in to save the day.

Garland_IS_God
03-03-2008, 06:40 PM
My fiance's dad said Barts gonna be at St. Germaines in Oak Lawn for their annual smoker.

michned
03-03-2008, 06:53 PM
I actually met Bart Johnson in the mid 80's outside of Ohare waiting for a ride home. My dad and I were standing near the cab lane and we noticed this guy with a White Sox suitcase. My dad asked him if he was with the organization and it turns out that it was Bart Johnson. My dad chatted with him for a while and when his ride showed up, he opened his trunk and gave me a major league baseball bat. I couldnt believe it. I still have it to this day.

Bart was the first Major Leaguer who ever gave me an autograph, which I still have (it was at a "clinic" the team put on at Scottsdale Shopping Center, 79th and Cicero, in 1974).

JNS
03-03-2008, 07:32 PM
Focus was one of Bart's issues. I don't remember which year it was, but one of my favorite quotes from anyone anywhere in any context was when he said - and this is not verbatim, but close - that "every time I hear fire engines with their sirens on going by the ballpark I just start to worry about my kids!"

Also, wasn't he involved in a fight instigated by a beanball or HBP with former Sox Don Buford who was on the Orioles at that time?

I seem to remember billboards with photos of that incident with a pitch line that went something like "come on out and see the fighting White Sox!"

Paulwny
03-03-2008, 07:33 PM
Wow, it makes me feel really, really old that people don't remember "Blazin' Bart."

WOW is right, I'm in your crowd.

Lip Man 1
03-03-2008, 10:09 PM
JNS:

Read the interview with him at WSI. He talks about his two great fights, with Buford and Darrell Porter of the Royals in 1977.

Bart by the way, still lives in Oak Lawn and is a scout for the Nationals organization.

During that time period a number of Sox players lived in the apartment complexes just off 95th street around Hawkinson Ford in Oak Lawn. Johnson, Ed Herrmann and Bill Melton to name a few. I'd walk home from the bus stop heading home from Brother Rice high school. I had no idea they were all living in the area at the time.

Lip

slavko
03-03-2008, 11:49 PM
He was the fictional character Gonzales Vorbeck (The Sox savior) that John Justin Smith (Chicago Daily News)wrote articles about while he was in the minors.

He was an amusing character tho, I remember him saying if things didn't work out in baseball he would just become a pro basketball player. I think he was a good high school player. (california boy I believe)

He had a real effortless delivery but could throw smoke.

He was one of my favs.

My decaying brain bets your decaying brain it was Gonzalo Vorbeck. Loser goes to a retirement home.

Noneck
03-04-2008, 12:27 AM
My decaying brain bets your decaying brain it was Gonzalo Vorbeck. Loser goes to a retirement home.

I'll go to that old folks home but still think it was Gonzales. Maybe the historian Lip Man or some other old coots can remember.

Nellie_Fox
03-04-2008, 12:34 AM
My decaying brain bets your decaying brain it was Gonzalo Vorbeck. Loser goes to a retirement home.Would you believe you already get a Google hit on your post when you search Gonzalo Vorbeck? Not even an hour old, and Google already has it.

cards press box
03-04-2008, 01:00 AM
Make that two of us.

Make it three.

alohafri
03-04-2008, 08:44 AM
Wow, it makes me feel really, really old that people don't remember "Blazin' Bart."

Tell me about it! I don't remember much about him, but I did have a glove as a kid that was a "Bart Johnson" model with his "signature" in the palm.

soxinem1
03-04-2008, 11:25 AM
He wasn't really an underachiever, but he was plagued by a very bad back.

He had some good years with the White Sox, and even attempted a comeback in 1985, when he was in ST in FLA. His velocity wasn't too bad, but his back acted up again, and he retired for good after that.

He was in the organization for some time scouting, but left about ten years ago to go to OAK(?), I believe.

Lip Man 1
03-04-2008, 12:03 PM
It was Tampa Bay, he's now with the Nationals.

Lip

gaelhound
03-07-2008, 01:58 AM
WOW is right, I'm in your crowd. i saw him pitch from right behind the plate at Comiskey. Night game, looked like an aspirin!:o:

zero1
04-08-2008, 05:34 PM
JNS:

Read the interview with him at WSI. He talks about his two great fights, with Buford and Darrell Porter of the Royals in 1977.

Bart by the way, still lives in Oak Lawn and is a scout for the Nationals organization.

During that time period a number of Sox players lived in the apartment complexes just off 95th street around Hawkinson Ford in Oak Lawn. Johnson, Ed Herrmann and Bill Melton to name a few. I'd walk home from the bus stop heading home from Brother Rice high school. I had no idea they were all living in the area at the time.

Lip

Tell me about it! I don't remember much about him, but I did have a glove as a kid that was a "Bart Johnson" model with his "signature" in the palm.
is bart still a scout?

zero1
04-08-2008, 05:37 PM
Tell me about it! I don't remember much about him, but I did have a glove as a kid that was a "Bart Johnson" model with his "signature" in the palm.
do you still have that glove or a baseball card?

zero1
04-08-2008, 06:14 PM
Heck, yeah. Tall, lanky, good fastball. #2 pick in the '69 draft. Sox couldn't decide if he was a reliever or starter. He was in the pen until Forster and Gossage arrived. Never lived up to his draft position. '71 was probably his best year, IIRC.
he was a good high school basketball player.

Lip Man 1
04-08-2008, 06:23 PM
Zero:

Yes he scouts for the Nationals and was a GREAT basketball player. Made the freshman All American team while at BYU, averaged something like 28 a game.

Lip

zero1
04-09-2008, 04:12 PM
As Ed Farmer pointed out at Soxfest John Wooden recruited Bart to play basketball at UCLA.
that would have been great if he could have played at ucla

zero1
04-10-2008, 05:50 PM
As Ed Farmer pointed out at Soxfest John Wooden recruited Bart to play basketball at UCLA.
he would of had a title

NADA SURF
04-13-2008, 06:24 AM
Anybody ever hear of him? I guess he was a pitcher for the Sox in the early 70's. I frequent a bar called The Homestead on 87th Central and I guess hes there all the time. My fiances parents are up there a lot, and always tell me about him. I never heard of the guy before, just curious if anybody on the board remembers the name?

Currently Bart Johnson is a major league scout. I see him in spring training in the press room all the time in Arizona, but I haven't stopped him to ask him which team he's with. Mike Squires is also a scout.

Johnson came up with the Sox along with Gossage and Forster and was a flamethrower that used to agitate Harry Caray because he would nibble at the plate ala Contreras when he's going bad.

It led to this hilarious (and probably stages) routine between Caray and Piersall in the TV booth on the first spring training game ever beamed back to Chicago in the late 70s on, I think, Ch.44. The game was in late March and right around Easter...

Piersall: Hey Harry, did you hear the kids of Sox players had an Easter egg hunting contest?
Harry: No Jimmy...Who won?
Piersall: Bart Johnson's 6-year old daughter (whatever her name was) won.
Harry: Really! That's the first win he's had in a long time.

Lip Man 1
04-13-2008, 01:33 PM
Johnson is a scout for the Nationals.

Lip

RadioheadRocks
04-13-2008, 10:00 PM
He wasn't really an underachiever, but he was plagued by a very bad back.

He had some good years with the White Sox, and even attempted a comeback in 1985, when he was in ST in FLA. His velocity wasn't too bad, but his back acted up again, and he retired for good after that.

He was in the organization for some time scouting, but left about ten years ago to go to OAK(?), I believe.

I remember him working as a White Sox scout back in the mid 80s, and he also made appearances at the Coca-Cola White Sox Fan Club baseball clinics at Grand Slam USA during the off-season in 1986. I still have pics somewhere with Bart along with Mike Squires and Ron Kittle and also some with Jerry Hairston. I also remember them showing the 1985 White Sox highlights video at these events.

Medford Bobby
04-13-2008, 10:40 PM
http://www.baseballcardproject.com/Topps/R/1974/147.jpghttp://www.baseballcardproject.com/Topps/R/1975/446.jpghttp://www.baseballcardproject.com/Topps/R/1976/513.jpghttp://www.baseballcardproject.com/Topps/R/1977/177.jpg:cool:

Lip Man 1
04-13-2008, 10:50 PM
As a White Sox scout, Johnson "discovered" a kid from Stanford named Kenny Williams. He talks about it in his WSI interview.

Lip

Nellie_Fox
04-14-2008, 12:34 AM
http://www.baseballcardproject.com/Topps/R/1975/446.jpghttp://www.baseballcardproject.com/Topps/R/1976/513.jpgThe inspiration for Ordoņez's current do?

jshanahanjr
04-14-2008, 02:25 PM
Bart's a great guy. He was a member of my golf foursome at the Field and Greens outing in 2004, and won the closest to the pin contest. The prize was a game worn autographed Magglio jersey, and he gave it to me. :)

NADA SURF
04-15-2008, 04:08 PM
I don't know how old he is now, but he appears as though he can still get out there and nibble the corners. He's in great shape and looks to be about 45.

Nellie_Fox
04-15-2008, 04:14 PM
I don't know how old he is now, but he appears as though he can still get out there and nibble the corners. He's in great shape and looks to be about 45.They've got this thing now called the internet, where you can easily look up information like this (http://www.baseball-reference.com/j/johnsba01.shtml).:tongue:

He's 58.

Bucky F. Dent
04-15-2008, 04:41 PM
Wow, it makes me feel really, really old that people don't remember "Blazin' Bart."


True enough!

zero1
04-16-2008, 11:30 AM
http://www.baseballcardproject.com/Topps/R/1974/147.jpghttp://www.baseballcardproject.com/Topps/R/1975/446.jpghttp://www.baseballcardproject.com/Topps/R/1976/513.jpghttp://www.baseballcardproject.com/Topps/R/1977/177.jpg:cool:Mod edit: No buying or selling of stuff is permitted on the forums. Do your business by email.

white sox bill
04-16-2008, 11:50 AM
They've got this thing now called the internet, where you can easily look up information like this (http://www.baseball-reference.com/j/johnsba01.shtml).:tongue:

He's 58.

What exactly is this internet that you speak of? Where can I sign up?

NADA SURF
04-18-2008, 09:06 PM
...and googling stuff ruins the fun of it on these kinds of threads..besides, I 'don't care how old he is....I said he was in terrific shape.They've got this thing now called the internet, where you can easily look up information like this (http://www.baseball-reference.com/j/johnsba01.shtml).:tongue:

He's 58.

Nellie_Fox
04-19-2008, 12:14 AM
...and googling stuff ruins the fun of it on these kinds of threads.First off, I didn't "google" it. I know about baseball-reference.com without having to use google. Secondly, how does having your facts "ruin the fun?"

NADA SURF
04-19-2008, 05:25 PM
It's more fun to do things on memory...
I'm kinda surprised how irate you are at this...
you gonna be ok?
I'm well aware of baseball reference.
My main point is, Bart Johnson looks nearly the same as when he left baseball, which surprises me. I see a lot of scouts his age and you would not even recognize them.First off, I didn't "google" it. I know about baseball-reference.com without having to use google. Secondly, how does having your facts "ruin the fun?"

Nellie_Fox
04-20-2008, 12:51 AM
It's more fun to do things on memory...
I'm kinda surprised how irate you are at this...
you gonna be ok?I'm not irate.

NADA SURF
04-20-2008, 02:10 AM
Old timers like us should be pals on here...I'm not irate.

zero1
04-22-2008, 10:13 AM
It's more fun to do things on memory...
I'm kinda surprised how irate you are at this...
you gonna be ok?
I'm well aware of baseball reference.
My main point is, Bart Johnson looks nearly the same as when he left baseball, which surprises me. I see a lot of scouts his age and you would not even recognize them.
do yuo see him very much?

NADA SURF
04-23-2008, 08:50 PM
do yuo see him very much?
I cover the Angels in spring training for the Associated Press and Bart Johnson seems to be at their home spring games just about every game...I don't know if the Nationals and Angels are working a deal or not...
I've also seen Mike Squires and Jerry Krause is there on occasion as well.

zero1
04-23-2008, 10:42 PM
I cover the Angels in spring training for the Associated Press and Bart Johnson seems to be at their home spring games just about every game...I don't know if the Nationals and Angels are working a deal or not...
I've also seen Mike Squires and Jerry Krause is there on occasion as well.
thank you if run across his email with the nationls and could send it to me brox50@cox.net i would really appreciate it

NADA SURF
04-24-2008, 03:09 AM
thank you if run across his email with the nationls and could send it to me brox50@cox.net i would really appreciate it
It's not likely that I'll run into him again until next March...However, if you contact the Nationals, they may give you his email address.

JeffreyG
07-14-2009, 04:47 AM
I bumped into Bart Johnson in 1995, sharing a ride back from O'Hare. He was scouting for the Sox at the time and had a bag full of foul balls. He signed one and gave it to me. Really seemed like a nice guy.

It seems from reading these pages that I'm not the only one who had a similar experience!

Mod Edit: I removed the link to your blog. We generally don't appreciate it when someone's first post includes a link to a blog while bumping a thread that has been dead for over a year. I'm sending you a PM too.