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Former Dodger 'Sweet Lou' Johnson Dies At 86

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Former Dodger outfielder "Sweet Lou" Johnson, who helped the team win the 1965 World Series against the Minnesota Twins with a key home run, has died. He was 86 years old.

The Dodgers say Johnson, who most recently worked as a front office employee with the team's community relations department, died Thursday night. They did not release a cause of death.

Steve Garvey's Celebrity Softball Game For ALS Research
Former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder "Sweet" Lou Johnson at Steve Garvey's celebrity softball game for ALS Research at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 3, 2011 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/FilmMagic)

Johnson, who earned the nickname "Sweet Lou" for his infectious smile and because he was always clapping his hands, joined the Dodgers early in 1965 after outfielder Tommy Davis suffered an injury.

"Lou Johnson was such a positive inspiration at Dodger Stadium with our employees and our fans as well as throughout the community in the appearances he made on behalf of the organization," Stan Kasten, president and CEO of the Dodgers, said in a statement. "Dodger fans will always remember his important home run in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series, when he was clapping his hands running around the bases."

Johnson played 17 seasons in professional baseball, including time with the Angels, the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Braves and the Cleveland Indians. The Dodgers say he played in 677 games and hit .258 with 48 homers and 232 RBI in his career. Johnson helped the Dodgers reach the postseason twice, in 1965 and 1966.

In 1965, Johnson was called up and hit .259 with 24 doubles, 12 homers, 58 RBI and 15 stolen bases, and recorded the lone Dodgers' hit and scored the only run in Sandy Koufax's perfect game on Sept. 9, 1965 against the Chicago Cubs, according to the Dodgers.

Johnson is survived by his wife, Sarah, and his children Lauren, Carlton, and Quinton.

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