Dec 16, 2019

John Christensen: One of the Players Traded For Bobby Ojeda (1984-1985)

John Lawrence Christensen was born on September 15, 1960 in Downey, California. The two hundred pound, six foot three right hand hitting outfielder, attended California State University at Fullerton. He was selected in the second round of the 1981 draft by the New York Mets. 

In 1982 the power hitting Christensen hit 22 HRs with 25 doubles while posting a .431 on base % between A Ball, Shelby & Lynchburg. He led the league with 101 RBI as well. 

In 1983 at AA Jackson he hit .333 with 12 HRs & 72 RBIs getting promoted to AAA Tidewater. There he hit .263 with two HRs closing out the season in 20 games. 

In 1984 at AAA Tidewater he led the Tides in hitting (.316) & RBIs (71) while finishing second on the club to Clint Hurdle with 15 HRs. 
Christensen was called up to the Mets in September making his debut as a pinch hitter against the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 13th 1984 two days after his 24th birthday. Christensen drew a walk and then scored his first career run on a Ray Knight double. He would get his first career hit later that week in a 13-5 loss at Philadelphia against the Phillies.

 On September 26th he was inserted in the lineup batting 5th as the day’s left fielder. In the bottom of the 1st inning, facing former Mets legend Jerry Koosman, Christensen singled driving in Mookie Wilson with his first career RBI.

 In the 4th inning he doubled off Koosman & scored on Rafael Santanna’s extra base hit. 

Before the day was done, Christensen would drive in another run grounding out in the 6th inning in the Mets 7-1 win. In eleven at bats on the year he hit .273 with two doubles a walk & three RBIs. 

In 1985 he made the Mets out of Spring Training seeing action as a reserve outfielder & pinch hitter. On May 26th he walked with the bases loaded helping the Mets to a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

On June 10th he hit his first career HR, a 9th inning pinch hit shot off Don Carmen of the Philadelphia Phillies in a 6-1 Mets win. Two days later he got a start in the outfield at Philadelphia & hit another HR in a 7-3 Mets win. 

The next day he drove in three runs, gathering five hits playing in the four game set at Veterans Stadium. 

Although he hit another HR that month, by the middle of July Christensen was batting just .190. He was sent back down to AAA Tidewater, returning to New York for six more games in September. 

 On November 13, 1985 Christensen was involved in a big trade, he along with Calvin Schiraldi & Wes Gardner were sent to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Bob Ojeda, Tom McCarthy & John Mitchell. 

Christensen spent 1986 in the minor leagues then was traded to the Seattle Mariners where he was soon involved in another big name trade. 

He was the player to be named later in the deal that had sent Dave Henderson & Spike Owen to the Red Sox. 

In 53 games he batted just .242 and was released the following May. He was signed by the Minnesota Twins appearing in just 23 games in 1988 never making the major leagues again. After one more year in the minors at age 29 he ended what was once promising career.

 In 132 games over four seasons he batted .224 with 66 hits 5 HRs 16 doubles a .310 on base % & 33 RBIs.

No comments: