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Sad Davey Johnson news

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 08 2005 09:05 AM

I saw this referenced on UMDB, this is from a Baltimore Sun piece:

Davey Johnson's daughter, Andrea, the youngest of his three children and a former professional surfer, died last week at the age of 32. The Orlando Sentinel cited "complications from a mental illness" as the cause of death.

Edgy DC
Jul 08 2005 09:19 AM
Edited 1 time(s), most recently on Jul 08 2005 10:24 AM

Very sad. Condolences to Davey.

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 08 2005 09:26 AM

Orlando Sentinel, June 10:

Growing up in the shadow of a famous athletic father, Andrea Lyn Johnson was never worried about rivalry in her family. In fact, the professional surfer welcomed competition as she took on wave after wave from New Smyrna Beach to Hawaii to New Zealand.

When she was 15, she learned how warm the spotlight could shine as she and her father, former Major League Baseball manager Davey Johnson, shared the national limelight when they were featured in a Sports Illustrated article titled "Davey's Little Surfer Girl."

Johnson told reporters that one of the reasons she surfed was because it brought her closer to her father. "It connects us. I always want to tell him when I win. I want him to be proud of me," she said in 1988.

"Because I was an athlete I think she wanted to follow in my footsteps," her father said Thursday, a day after the youngest of his three children died of complications from a mental illness. She was 32.

Davey Johnson said his daughter was at the height of her game when she became ill.

"She was really something special," her father said. "She was one of the best surfers in the Southeast, had her picture in Sports Illustrated, had been on Nickelodeon, and everyone just really loved her."

After years of waking up at 6 a.m. to check the surf report, grab a surfboard and head to the beach, her persistence paid off. Her accolades include winning numerous surfing competitions, including four major Eastern Surfing Association titles, and participating in numerous events in Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Hawaii and California.

She also served as a role model for other young athletes by participating in the USA Cultural Exchange Program in the Cook Islands, South Pacific. The goodwill program was sponsored by the United State Information Association -- Sports America and the International Surfing Association as a way of teaching locals cultural and surfing techniques.

In a release issued by her family Thursday, Johnson is described as a "kind, gentle, spirited, loving and generous soul" whose spirit was "pure and selfless."

They recalled her reaction to learning about the plight of the less fortunate. At the age of 10, she wrote: " I think about how poor they feel and I start to cry." Her writing continued: "Please have someone put them in a comfortable bed, feed them a nice big juicy steak with vegetables and a salad, and take care of them."

When Johnson was not catching a wave or at least thinking of surfing, she may have been found seated at the family's piano, pounding out one of her favorite tunes for family gatherings.

"Andrea enjoyed her life and was very kind and generous," her brother, David Johnson of Winter Park, said.

Born in Baltimore, Johnson grew up in her father's hometown of Winter Park, graduating from Lake Howell High School and attending Seminole Community College and Florida Southern College.

"She left college because she just wanted to be on the water," Davey Johnson said. "My daughter would drive an hour to the beach just to catch one wave."

In all of her endeavors, her parents were her biggest fans.

"I had high expectations for her to get married and have a lot of kids," her father said, his voice trailing off.

Johnson also is survived by her mother, Mary Nan; and sister, Dawn M. Robert, Windermere. Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home, Goldenrod Chapel, Winter Park, is in charge of arrangements.

Jul 08 2005 09:29 AM

Very sad, she sure sounded like a great person.

Jul 08 2005 09:47 AM

Wow, that's a sad story.

What type of complications can arise from mental illness that cause death?

Johnny Dickshot
Jul 08 2005 09:48 AM

Not to be morbidly curious, but how do you interpret "complications from a mental illness"? OD?

Jul 08 2005 09:50 AM

We need Dr. originaljb.

Bret Sabermetric
Jul 08 2005 10:05 AM

Suicide would also be a "complication from a mental illness," I guess.

Edgy DC
Jul 08 2005 10:33 AM

Donations may be made in Andrea's name to the Eastern Surfing Association's Marsh Scholarship Fund, PO Box 532, Ocean City, MD, 21843, (410) 213-0515, Attention: Kit Henningsen.

Donations may alternately be made in Andrea's name to Northeast Florida State Hospital, Rt. 1 Box 519, MacClenny, FL 32063.

Jul 08 2005 10:41 AM

If anyone would like to participate in a Crane Pool donation to the scholarship
fund, I'll be happy to collect it and send it.

Send $5 via PayPal to and I'll send it out next week with a
nice letter of condolence..

Jul 08 2005 10:46 AM

I came to the same conclusion as BS.

Kase - I'll send that to ya via PayPal in a minute.

Edgy DC
Jul 08 2005 10:56 AM

I've got more than $5. I'm sending a small part of that big bonus check your way.

Jul 10 2005 06:20 AM

side issue here, one of the real problems with addressing suicide on an ongoing basis is the stigmatisation of it which is evidenced by the use of "complications from a mental illness"

that's a nice way of saying it, so I don't have a huge issue with it, but in Ireland (mostly due to the Catholic Church) families always went on an a misguided quest to try and get the coroner to declare it "death by misadventure"

it's wrong because it tries to hide the loneliness and desperation that someone must have felt, and that we need to try to capture and know how to stop.

Edgy DC
Jul 10 2005 06:57 PM

I'm having trouble with PayPal, Kase. If you CC me a mailing address, I'd be happy to send you a check.

Rockin' Doc
Jul 10 2005 08:57 PM

I don't know Pay Pal from Mastercard, but I'm willing to mail a check to your if you PM (or e-mail) me an address.

The loss of a child, no matter the circumstances, has to be one of the most emotionally painful circumstances that a person can endure. I wish only the best to Davey and his family.

Aug 12 2005 06:25 PM

I meant to post this earlier in the week, procrastination is my strong suit. I
sent off the CPF letter on Monday with a $75 contribution and a nice short
letter to the Marsh Fund. I'm sure we'll get an acknowledgement and I'll post
it here when it arrives.


Aug 12 2005 07:12 PM

"but how do you interpret "complications from a mental illness"? "

I think I read that doses of Thorazine (or was it Lithium?) can cause Kidney disease. At worst, they can weaken the kidney to such an extent that the person can get suddent and fatal kidney infections. Those medications are prescribed for certain mental illnesses.

Didn't the daughter of a famous writer die from that a few years ago? She checked into a NY hospital, suddenly came down with a very high fever and died shortly thereafter. The writer won a lawsuit, claiming a bad/ mis diagnosis.


Aug 18 2005 10:10 PM

]DURHAM, North Carolina (Ticker) - Davey Johnson will return to the dugout in search of another title.

On Wednesday, USA Baseball named Johnson manager for the team comprised of minor leaguers that will represent the United States in the 2005 IBAF World Cup in The Netherlands beginning September 2.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to wear the uniform of the United States and to the challenge of trying to bring the baseball World Cup back to America for the first time since 1974," Johnson said.

A manager for four major league teams over 14 seasons, Johnson has compiled a 1,148-888 record. In 1986, he guided the New York Mets to a World Series title in a dramatic seven-game series with the Boston Red Sox.

Johnson, a four-time All-Star in his 13 seasons as a player with four teams, was named the American League Manager of the Year in 1997 after leading the Baltimore Orioles to an East Division title.

"Davey brings a great managerial style and major league experience to the position," USA Baseball general manager Bob Watson said. "We're excited to have him lead Team USA into this competition."

In addition to the hiring of Johnson, Rick Eckstein was named bench coach, Scott Radinsky pitching coach and Lee May Jr. hitting coach.

© 2005 SportsTicker Enterprises, LP

Edgy DC
Aug 18 2005 10:32 PM

Good for Lee May, Jr.

May was a high draft pick but a nine-year minor league career got him nowhere. He's been doing well climbing the ladder as a minor-league instructor. Perhaps Johnson remembers him from his days in the Mets system, though I'm not sure he even got to camp with the Mets.

There was a book about Darryl Strawberry's Crenshaw High team, and one of the players on that team is named "Lee May, Jr." I haven't read the book. Is this the same cat? Did an 18-year major-leaguer like Lee May end up sending his kid to an inner-city Los Angeles school?

Aug 19 2005 08:31 AM

Good luck, Davey!

Aug 19 2005 12:26 PM

]Did an 18-year major-leaguer like Lee May end up sending his kid to an inner-city Los Angeles school?

Well, a retired major leaguer who had uncashed 10-year-old checks for $900K lying around his house now has a son (and his namesake) on crack, so I guess anything is possible.

Aug 28 2005 04:18 PM

Davey was just on ESPN Radio's The Baseball Show and was referencing the situation about his daughter's battles being one of the reasons he decided to take time off from the rigors of day-to-day baseball

Well Steve Phillips asked how she was...


I'll give Steve a pass, but still, a little homework on recent news about your guest might be the PROFESSIONAL thing to do! Geez, and this guy was supposed to have the right "skill sets?"

By the way, Dave did say she was battling mental illness, so MFS62 did call that one


Edgy DC
Aug 28 2005 04:22 PM

I'm not so sure Phillips deserves much of a pass at all.

What did MFS call? Complications from mental illness was the reported cause of death.

Aug 28 2005 04:28 PM

Edgy DC wrote:
I'm not so sure Phillips deserves much of a pass at all.

What did he call? Complications from mental illness was the reported cause of death.

Eh, you're probably right about not giving Phillips a pass, I was taking the side that Phillips was more concerned with the reason Johnson was on (The World Baseball Cup) and didn't think of doing the rest of the leg work on what Davey has been up to this year

PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2005 9:12 pm Post subject:
"but how do you interpret "complications from a mental illness"? "

I think I read that doses of Thorazine (or was it Lithium?) can cause Kidney disease. At worst, they can weaken the kidney to such an extent that the person can get suddent and fatal kidney infections. Those medications are prescribed for certain mental illnesses.
Didn't the daughter of a famous writer die from that a few years ago? She checked into a NY hospital, suddenly came down with a very high fever and died shortly thereafter. The writer won a lawsuit, claiming a bad/ mis diagnosis.


I think it was mentioned earlier in the thread and a "How can you say that" happened


Aug 28 2005 04:29 PM

Uh, never mind, it was a reference to the original article, not somethng originally said here

Aug 28 2005 04:31 PM

Since this was bumped, I still haven't heard from the fund nor has my check
cleared nor have I cashed anyone's checks yet just in case anyone is doing
bank recs this weekend.

Edgy DC
Aug 28 2005 04:46 PM

Surf association.

Aug 29 2005 04:09 PM

They got it, thanks to everyone who participated.

Aug 29 2005 04:18 PM

Well done. Thanks for handling this, Bro.

Edgy DC
Aug 29 2005 05:13 PM

I hope that redacted part in the salutation is "rane."

old original jb
Aug 30 2005 12:37 PM
late to this thread but in the interest of public education

You are right that the most likely fatal "complication" of mental illness is, sadly, suicide. The three major mental illnesses--schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder each have lifetime suicide rates of about 10%. For schizophrenia, the suicides tend to happen early on; for depression and bipolar illness the risk is distributed throught the course of the illness.

"Malignant catatonia" is a very rare complication of schizophrenia or of depression or mania with psychosis. It is kind of like the brain going on total overdrive while the person doesn't eat or sleep for several days, and can, without supportive interventions, lead to death from dehydration and cardiovascular collapse. This was probably much more common in the days before medications and ECT which is an effective treatment for this condition.

Due to the high comorbidity of substance abuse and psychiatric illness--probably some of the same things that produce vulnerability to one produce vulnerability to the other--complications from use of illicit drugs can sometimes be considered a complication of a psychiatric illness.

Psychotropic medications themselves can unfortunately produce fatal reactions in some people (as can ANY medication); serotonin syndrome, neurolepic malignant syndrome (in both cases there is instability of blood pressure and heart rate, high fever and delirium), cardiac arrythmias (torsade de pointes, ventricular fibrillation, QT prolongation leading to asystole and sudden cardiac death), and for some medications agranulocytosis/neutropenic sepsis. This is why such medications should be prescribed by experienced specialists and the people taking them monitored carefully for adverse effects with the appropriate blood tests, EKG and face to face visits with the prescribing physician.

Some psychotropic medications can increase vulnerability to heat stroke, and patients must be advised to keep well hydrated. Conversely, in a few patients either the illness itself or medications used to treat it can cause problems with salt and water balance--most notably psychogenic polydipsia in which people drink so much water that they become "water intoxicated" and suffer from low levels of sodium and potassium that can lead to seizures and even brain swelling and death. A similar result can occur when the medications cause SIADH (syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone secretion) in which the brain puts out a lot of a hormone that makes the kidney retain water while losing salt.

There are a few medications that rarely cause a progressive rash (Stevens Johnson Syndrome) which, if not spotted, becomes a blistering rash that can cover much of the body and be as serious as a third degree burn in terms of threat to life and health. Fortunately it is rare and can be stopped if spotted early and the offending medication is removed.

Lithium can alter kidney function, but generally does so very slowly and with much less frequency than was originally thought. There is no increased vulnerabilty to kidny infection. Thorazine can cause blood pressure to drop precipitously in some individuals, especially in combination with other medications.

The daughter of the famous author was Libby Zion who was taking a class of antidepressants called MAOI's and concurrently was given meperidine, better known as demerol, producing a hypertensive crisis.
MAOI's are the most effective antidepressants, but unfortunately can interact with foods and other medications to produce spectacular rises in blood pressure which can be fatal. There is a great deal of controversy as to whether Libby Zion told the doctors at New York Hospital that she was taking the MAOI or not, but her father focused on the fact that the resident on call who saw her had not slept in 48 hours and embarked on a media campaign that resulted in a complex set of rules that set limits on work hours for residents and interns in New York hospitals.

All that said, pscyhotropic medicaitons are in the vast majority of instances quite safe and when used judiciously can bring about significant relief from massive suffering. Finally, the small but substantial risks associated with taking these medications must be weighed against the very real and very great risks to life and health from untreated serious mental illness.

Post Script:
Had I seen this thread earlier, I surely would have chipped in with a contribution.

Johnny Dickshot
Aug 30 2005 12:52 PM

This room can be great, can't it? We get news, memories, jokes, charitable contributions and science in the same thread.

Edgy DC
Aug 30 2005 02:11 PM

I checked and Davey sat out the night Andrea was born (9/13/72), replaced by young utiltiy infielder Bobby Grich. Grich played second the next few days and got as much time as Johnson (who was having a dreadful season) down the stretch, if not more.

The emergence of Grich made Johnson expendable, and Baltimore moved him, along with fellow-future-Oriole-manager Johnny Oates, to Atlanta, where he had the season of his life.

Edgy DC
Sep 20 2005 08:22 AM

The Baltimore Sun talks to Davey.

Apparently, Ms. Johnson suffered from schizophrenia. JB nailed it in his first try.

Sep 20 2005 04:31 PM

unfortunately suicide in the case of schizophrenia is all to often the end game of a somewhat tortured existence. Two of my uncles suffered from schizophrenia until their deaths and to be honest I understand why they chose the path they did.

I'll never forget being told (while one of them was going through a particularly bad phase) "not to answer the door to XXX" there's no way either of them would have wanted their doted on nephew to be afraid. Faced with the choice of nullifying their highly capable minds (as the drugs they were prescribed did), struggling with demons or ending their life they both chose the last option.

It's funny; it's at least in some way a disease which carries a degree of genetic disposition; it's the one thing that scares me about having children.

Sep 20 2005 06:21 PM

Oh man, that's a rough one duan.

I can only offer good vibes to you. That's a rough decision to have to make.

The good news is that at least you know to look out for the signs, and that medicine has taken great leaps in recent years.