Chris Johnson: Proud to be following in Chipper Jones' footsteps

February 3, 2013 

If you think you were surprised to learn recently that Chris Johnson had been traded to the Atlanta Braves to be their new third baseman, imagine my shock!

Granted, I was one heck of a defensive third baseman when I played for the Yankees (the Macon County Drug Store Yankees in 1980), but I can't believe that I made such a lasting impression that I would someday see my name scroll by on ESPN with the news "Diamondbacks trade Justin Upton, Chris Johnson to Braves."

Don't get me wrong. I am absolutely thrilled. But I'm not sure the Braves know what they have gotten themselves into. Granted, I give them a good bargain as I'm willing to play for money other ballplayers would consider insulting -- just a million dollars or so is plenty. But I've got a few health issues, including a right rotator cuff that's been torn since 1988 and a separated left shoulder that I suffered in 2011 and didn't heal properly. I also have a metal hip and a steel plate in my left leg, courtesy of a teenage driver who didn't know that a red light means stop.

In short, I'm a lot like the Six-Million-Dollar Man with all the gadgets in me, except for the fact I have below-average powers instead of superpowers and I'm only worth about six dollars. But, just like the bionic man, I make funny sounds when I move.

Excuse me. Yes? What's that? Another Chris Johnson? Oh.

You're not gonna believe this, but apparently that is a different Chris Johnson who got traded to the Braves. What are the chances that there is another guy named Chris Johnson out there besides me? Oh yeah … pretty good, I guess.

There have been more than a few Chris Johnsons out there over the years, even one who was a star on the LPGA Tour. Unless that stands for Losers Play Golf Awfully, that probably wasn't me.

Then there was the Chris Johnson who quarterbacked Americus High School in the early 1990s and then went on to set a season receiving yards record at Georgia Southern and then catch 51 touchdowns with five different Arena Football League teams. That's great, except it looked like he was even more talented while quarterbacking that pass-happy Americus team because I was the sports editor (whole sports staff, actually) back then at the Americus Times-Recorder. So my Saturday morning game coverage read something like, "By Chris Johnson, sports editor. Chris Johnson threw for 315 yards and four touchdowns as the Panthers routed ..."

Heck, I can barely throw a spiral -- especially with this bad rotator cuff.

This is all the result of my parents' picking the most common first name to go along with my most common last name back in 1970. I guess they looked at me when I was born and thought, "Boy, he sure looks average. Let's make sure he gets the most average name possible."

Oh well, I guess it's a good thing I won't be playing for the Braves. I'd hate to give up my regular job -- as the running back for the Tennessee Titans.

Chris Johnson is an independent correspondent whose "Best of Chris Johnson" is now available from Amazon's Kindle Store. Follow him at Facebook.com/KudzuKidWriting.

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