LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jay Johnstone, who won World Series championships as a versatile outfielder with the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers while being baseball’s merry prankster, has died. He was 74.
He died last Saturday of complications from COVID-19 and also had suffered from dementia in recent years, according to his daughter Mary Jayne Sarah Johnstone. He died at a nursing home in Granada Hills, she said Monday.
“COVID was the one thing he couldn’t fight,” his daughter said by phone. “It’s really kind of shocking.”
His family noted that Johnstone’s time of death last Saturday occurred around the same time Dodger Stadium was plunged into darkness because of a power outage.
“He may have had a hand in it or a victory lap of remembrance,” said Rick Monday, Johnstone’s former teammate and current Dodgers broadcaster.
Besides the Yankees and Dodgers, Johnstone played for the California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Oakland, Philadelphia, San Diego, and Chicago Cubs during a 20-year major league career that began in 1966 and ended in 1985. He had a career batting average of .267, with 102 home runs and 531 RBIs.