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Johnson: Canes Legend and World Champion

Courtesy: Hurricanesports.com
          Release: 02/15/2013
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In celebration of Black History Month, HurricaneSports.com will highlight several African-American student-athletes that left their mark on the University of Miami. Our next profile focuses on Charles Johnson, who went from All-American at UM to World Series champion. 

Charles Johnson was always a standout baseball player.

The Hurricane legend was drafted 10th overall by the Montreal Expos in the 1989 MLB Draft, but chose to forgo millions to attend the University of Miami and play under legendary coach Ron Fraser. The decision proved to be a good one, as Johnson tied UM's freshman home run record with 11 to earn a selection to both the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Freshman All-America teams. Johnson eventually concluded his tenure at Miami as a two-time Golden Spikes Award finalist. In his final season with UM in 1992, The Sporting News named Johnson a first-team All-American. 

Johnson was selected in the first round of the 1992 MLB Draft, becoming the first-ever amateur draft pick of the Florida Marlins. That same year, he played for Fraser one last time at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona as a member of the United States National Team.

The Fort Pierce, Fla., native reached the Majors in 1994 and was the Marlins' starting catcher in 1995. Johnson won a Gold Glove in his first full season in the Majors, his first of four consecutive awards for being the best defensive catcher in the National League. He is one of only three catchers in Major League history to catch at least 100 games in a single season without committing an error.

Johnson was a two-time All-Star (1997, 2001) and was a member of the 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins. He also caught the first three no-hitters in Marlins history, tying him for second-most no-hitters caught in MLB history. In his 12-year big league career, Johnson played for the Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Colorado Rockies and Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

A 2002 UM Sports Hall of Fame inductee,  Johnson had his No. 23 retired on the outfield wall of Mark Light Stadium in a ceremony held during the Miami vs. Florida game on Feb. 10, 2002.

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