Monday, March 29, 2010

Milestone for Mark Johnson

Sunday afternoon was a big day for head baseball coach Mark Johnson. The veteran coach notched his 1,000th career victory with a win over UTSA.

While Johnson was able to celebrate the milestone wearing Bearkat orange, a majority of the victories coming while he was in charge of the Texas A&M program.

Longtime Aggie sports information director Alan Cannon sent over a copy of the box score from Johnson's first win of his career. It came on Feb. 24, 1985 against Northeast Louisiana in a 10-1 win in the season opener for the Aggies.

"I remember that game better than I remember a game we played two weeks ago," Cannon said with a chuckle Monday afternoon.

The winning pitcher in that game was Tom Arrington, who has gone on to a great coaching career of his own. In 10 seasons as the head coach at San Jacinto College, Arrington has compiled a record of 422-146. On Monday, Arrington was unaware he was win No. 1 for Johnson.

"I should remember that game better, but I do know early in that year I was really having a good season," Arrington said. "I remember he was an assistant the year before and was a very respected man. I am happy for him and to win 1,000 games at the level he has done it is remarkable."

Arrington is not the only Aggie from the game who has gone into college coaching. Steve Johnigan, the starting catcher for the Aggies, has served as an assistant at Baylor for the last 15 years.

"Was 'Hoot' my catcher in that game?" Arrington asked referring to Johnigan. "There are so many guys who played under him who have gone into coaching and I think it was only years later that you realized how rewarding it was playing for Mark Johnson."

Another familiar name in the Aggie lineup that day was Scott Livingstone, who was a second round pick of the Detroit Tigers and had an 8-year career in the majors with Detroit, Toronto, San Diego, St. Louis and Montreal.

Here is a scan of that box score.

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