Alex Johnson, AL 1970 batting champ, dies

The Detroit News

Former Tigers player and 1970 American League batting champion Alex Johnson died Saturday due complications from cancer. He was 72.

Johnson, who grew up in Detroit, was a teammate of Willie Horton at Northwestern High before going on to a 13-year major league career.

He was a career .288 hitter with the Phillies, Cardinals, Reds, Angels, Indians, Rangers, Yankees and Tigers.

Johnson had a career year in 1970 when hit he .329 to win the AL batting crown and was named to the AL All-Star team. He won the batting title by 0.004 over the Red Sox's Carl Yastrzemski.

In 1976, Johnson signed with the Tigers and battled .268 with six home runs and 45 RBIs.

He is the brother of Ron Johnson, who was a running back at the University of Michigan and with the NFL New York Giants. He is also survived by daughter, Jenifer; son, Alex; and sister, Jean.

A funeral service will take place 10 a.m. Friday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 1000 Eliot, Detroit.