Johnson fondly remembers time with O's

Johnson fondly remembers time with O's

Johnson fondly remembers time with O's
WASHINGTON -- Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he has great memories of his days with the Orioles -- and for good reason.

As a second baseman from 1965 to 1972, Johnson helped Baltimore win four pennants and two World Series titles. As a manager, Johnson guided the Orioles to the postseason in 1996 and '97.

"It was more of a family. It was my first big league team," Johnson said of his playing days. "We tried to live close to each other. We did things off the field, we partied a lot. The Hoffbergers [the team's owners] believed in partying. Of course, we won a lot, and there was a lot to party for."

The one memory that sticks out for Johnson occurred at a party held by then Orioles owner Jerold Hoffberger in 1966.

Johnson and catcher Andy Etchebarren noticed that the team's best player, Frank Robinson, fell in the swimming pool, and they noticed that Robinson wasn't coming up for air.

"Andy Etchebarren and I were looking down at him in the bottom of the pool, and we both jumped in and saved him. He didn't know how to swim," Johnson recalled. "He was nothing but rock-hard muscle. We don't know why he went into the pool, but we were not going to let him drown.

"It was just a family atmosphere. That's what we loved about the Orioles. We went through the good and bad together. We had a lot more good."