Forty years after he last played in one as a player, Davey Johnson is going to the All-Star Game.
Monday, San Francisco Giants Manager Bruce Bochy invited Johnson to serve on the National League coaching staff at the Midsummer Classic, which will take place at Citi Filed. Johnson accepted.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Johnson said. “It’s a great time. Bochy and I go way back. It’ll be fun. Maybe he can teach me a few things on how to gear up my offense. Because he’s doing a great job here.”
In the early 1980s, Johnson worked as a special assignments instructor in the Mets’ minor league system, “which meant that I could mess up anybody,” Johnson said. As he roved around the system, he spent time with a Class AAA catcher at Norfolk named Bruce Bochy.
“He was working on trying to serve the ball to right field,” Johnson said. “I said, ‘Boch, you’re a big strong guy. Go up there once in a while and hit one out of the ballpark.’ That’s what gave him his big league career.”
As a coach, Johnson will return to New York, where he managed the Mets for nearly a decade and captured the 1986 World Series title. Bochy will manage the NL, and gets to pick his coaching staff, because the Giants won the NL pennant last year on their way to a World Series.
“I have much respect for Davey,” Bochy said. “I have some history with him. It was a great year they had last year. With the success he’s had in New York, it will be nice for him to be in the All-Star Game.”