In his one season with Kansas City (1970), 6’4″ Bob Johnson struck out 206, the third-highest total ever for a rookie and a Royal record. He was second to Bert Blyleven in TSN AL Rookie Pitcher of the Year voting. Johnson went 9-10 with a 3.45 ERA for the World Champion 1971 Pirates. When Nellie Briles pulled a hamstring warming up for Game Three of the LCS, Johnson was his emergency replacement and pitched five-hit ball for eight innings, surrendering only an unearned run and winning a 2-1 duel against the Giants ‘ Juan Marichal. He lost his Game Two World Series start, however, giving up four runs in 3-1/3 innings.
Johnson followed up his triumph with his best season in 1972 (4-4, 2.96), relieving more, as the Pirates won the division title, and in 1973 had his only winning record (4-2), coming almost exclusively out of the bullpen.