April 18, 2013

Catching up with an early leader

Charles Johnson, the first Sea Dogs star, is joining other former players at a 20th-year gathering today.

By Glenn Jordan gjordan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Charles Johnson, on his way to a 12-year career in the major leagues, had a memorable season with the first-year Sea Dogs, leading the Eastern League with 28 home runs.

1997 File Photo/John Ewing

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Last fall Johnson returned to the university to complete the education he interrupted 20 years earlier, although he switched his major from business to liberal arts. He currently takes two classes, one on the American presidency and the other on sustainable living, and figures he will complete the requirements for his degree next spring.

His sons "think it's pretty funny that I'm at the table doing homework with them," he said.

They even give him help on occasion, such as when he has to put together a project involving a computer-based slide show.

"Kids these days, they learn to do a PowerPoint presentation in the third grade," he said.

Johnson and current Marlins manager Mike Redmond, who followed him as a Sea Dogs catcher, played unsuccessful phone tag before Redmond got too busy with spring training, but a future visit is likely. The dismantled Marlins -- Johnson was shipped to Los Angeles in the first of what has turned out to be several Florida fire sales -- lost 11 of their first 14 games under Redmond.

"It's still early," Johnson said. "I think he's going to be OK. Mike's always been a great leader, a guy who really understands the game. I'm pretty sure he'll find his way."

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

gjordan@pressherald.com

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

 

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