Former Major League Baseball player Jay Johnstone has died. He was 74.
Johnstone died following complications from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), his daughter, Mary Jayne Sarah Johnstone, told the Associated Press on Monday.
″COVID was the one thing he couldn't fight,″ Mary said, adding that her father died at a nursing home in Granada Hills. ″It's really kind of shocking.″
Johnstone played on the New York Yankees from 1978 to 1979, followed by a brief stint on the San Diego Padres before heading to the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1980. In 1982, Johnstone was traded to the Chicago Cubs before returning to the Dodgers in 1985.
He also spent time on the California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and Philadelphia Phillies throughout his decades-long career. He worked as a radio commentator for the Yankees and Phillies after retiring.
Johnstone won two World Series: in 1978 with the Yankees and in 1981 with the Dodgers.
Both teams expressed their condolences to Johnstone's family on Tuesday.
″The Dodgers are saddened by the passing of former Dodger Jay Johnstone and offer their deepest condolences to his family and friends,″ the Dodgers said in a statement shared on Twitter.
″We are saddened to learn of the passing of Jay Johnstone,″ the Yankees said in a statement shared on Twitter as well. ″The Yankees organization extends its deepest condolences to Jay's family and friends. He will be missed.″
Johnstone earned a reputation as a prankster among his fellow players and staff, and his daughter told the AP that her father ″wanted to find the humor in life no matter how serious things got.″
″That was his motto to everything: bring a smile to people's faces,″ Mary said of her dad. ″Everyone loved him."
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