Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Von Joshua, Playing Regularly - Playing Days

Coming off a career season, one spent as a full-time starter in the majors, Von Joshua told Baseball Digest he knew what made it possible.

Not only had he'd gotten into 129 games with the Giants the previous year, in 1975, he hit .318.

"All I know is that playing regularly gave me my timing as a hitter," Joshua told Baseball Digest that December. "I'll admit, I didn't expect to have quite this good of year overall. But I did expect to hit .300 and I didn't anticipate any trouble in the field."

Joshua was coming off his sixth season with time in the majors that year. He went on to play in four more, never quite matching his success with the Giants in 1975.

His playing days over, Joshua has gone on to a long career as a coach in the minors, and in the majors, most recently with the AAA Iowa Cubs in 2011.

Joshua's career began in 1967, signed by the Dodgers as an amateur free agent out of California.

He played that first year at short-season Tri-City and single-A Santa Barbara. He moved to AA Albuquerque in 1968, then AAA Spokane in 1969.

In 1969, Joshua also debuted with Los Angeles as a September call-up. He got into 14 games for the Dodgers, getting 8 at bats. He got two hits.

He returned to the Dodgers for a more-extended stay in 1970, 72 games. He hit .266 with one home run. In May, he singled and tripled in an 8-1 win, knocking in the go-ahead run.

Joshua, though, got into just 11 games for the Dodgers the next year. In 1972, he didn't make the majors at all, playing the year at AAA Albuquerque.

Joshua got more regular time in 1973 and 1974, getting into 75 games and 81 games respectively. He also hit .252 and .234.

In 1974, Joshua also got time in the World Series. He appeared in four games, getting an at bat in each, but he didn't get a hit.

Taken off waivers by the Giants for 1975, Joshua had that breakout season. He stayed with them through mid-1976, when he was purchased by the Brewers.

Between the Giants and the Brewers, Joshua got into 149 games in 1976, hitting .266. He returned to the Brewers for 1977. He isn't recorded as playing in 1978, but played in two more major league seasons.

In 1979, he returned to the Dodgers. In 1980, his final year, he played in 53 games with the Padres.

By 1984, Joshua had started his post-playing career, as an instructor with the team that first signed him, the Dodgers.

Read about Joshua's long coaching career: Von Joshua, Physics of the Swing, July 31, 2010

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