Before the season ends, I want to pay tribute to the happy wanderings of Mr. Kelly Andrew Johnson, who began his Major League career as an Atlanta Braves outfielder, then their starting second baseman, and has recently been playing anywhere for anyone.
Kelly Johnson was drafted by the Braves in 2000 and made his debut as an outfielder in 2005. He missed most of 2006 and came back as a 2nd baseman in 2007.
In December, 2009, he signed with the Diamondbacks as a free agent.
In August, 2011 (his “walk year”), he was traded to the Blue Jays for for Aaron Hill and John McDonald. (This is where the fun starts)
He became a free agent but re-signed with the Jays.
After the 2012 season, he became a free agent again, this time signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.
After one season in Tampa, he became a free agent again, and signed with the Yankees.
At the 2014 trading deadline, he was traded to the Red Sox for Stephen Drew.
One month later, Kelly Johnson and Michael Almanzar were traded to the Orioles for Ivan DeJesus and Jemile Weeks. (This card is a custom, BTW).
When he got traded to the Orioles, he completed the cycle by playing for all five AL East teams.
Over this past offseason, he went back to the Braves, and I held off on this post until after I got my 2015 Topps factory set, thinking that Kelly Johnson would be on one of the 700 cards — but I was mistaken. We’ve got to wait for Topps Update or Heritage High Numbers to get Kelly Johnson on a 2015 card, so I’m going to repeat the 2009 card to stand in for a 2015 Braves card.
In July the Braves traded Kelly and Juan Uribe to the Mets for two minor league pitchers.
Just to recap, that’s 8 teams over the past 5 seasons, including all of the teams in the AL East and two out of five in the NL East. So far this season, he’s played at first, second, third, short, left field, right field and DH (although only one game each as a shortstop and DH).
Just for fun, here’s another custom I’m “reprinting” from last year featuring Kelly Johnson and Kelli Johnson of Comcast SportsNet.
Kelli Johnson’s also been on the move; this past winter she moved from Comcast SportsNet Houston to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Before that, she was with Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.