Former Washington Nationals first baseman Nick Johnson filed his MLB retirement papers today at only age 34 according to several sources.
Nick Johnson was drafted by the New York Yankees in the third round of the 1996 amateur draft and made his major league debut on August 21, 2001 at only age 22. Johnson was traded by the Yankees to Montreal Expos with Randy Choate and Juan Rivera for Javier Vazquez.
Johnson joined the Nationals when the Expos moved to Washington in 2005 and #24 quickly became a fan favorite. In fact, there were still several Johnson jerseys worn at Nationals Park in 2012. Johnson was traded by the Nats to the then Florida Marlins after the all-star break in 2009 for Aaron Thompson.
Unfortunately, after the terrible collision in right field with outfielder Austin Kearns at Shea Stadium on Sept. 26, 2006 that left Johnson with a broken femur, Johnson could never quite get healthy again. After a half season with Marlins, Johnson bounced around from the Yankees to Indians and played last year with the Baltimore Orioles.
He only played 233 games in the big leagues after the 2006 injury, however, the guy could get on base. Since 2001, Nick Johnson has 10th best OBP (.399) among players with 3,000 plate appearances.
Some of the media poked fun of Johnson’s injury history and Sabremetricians hero.
Nick Johnson announced his retirement. In a related story, your health insurance premiums just went down.
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) January 28, 2013
Nick johnson retires. And sabremetricians everywhere weep
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) January 28, 2013