|Here's my 2006 Fleer Greats of the Game Nickname Greats auto card NG-JJ|
Of course this got me thinking of the blog, and how I could incorporate the lunar eclipse into today's post. My first thought was Wally Moon, but I've already done a post on him. Then I remembered Jay Johnstone, the "Moon Man."
Johnstone, who was one of baseball's great pranksters, played for the Dodgers in 1980, 1981 part of 1982 and again in 1985. But he got his nickname while with the California Angels.
At some point during his early years with the Angels, Johnstone acquired a lasting nickname: Moon Man. Catcher Bob “Buck” Rodgers liked to tell one version of the story. “One day he lost a ball in the sun, but when he came back to the bench he said, ‘I lost it in the moon.’' The connections with outer space were fitting, especially when the whole nation was watching the Apollo missions. In 1981, though, Johnstone told Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times that it came about as he sneaked back into his hotel room after curfew, cat-burglar style, and told another roommate, “Out of the way, you’re standing in my moonlight.”