LANCASTER -- He is the man who made it to the majors for one game -- and has never been asked back.
The last place Alan Johnson expected to be this season was in Lancaster.
Johnson, a right-handed starter, appeared in the major leagues just last year, pitching for the Colorado Rockies. So how does someone go from the major leagues to an independent league in such a short period of time?
"Umm, your guess is as good as mine," he said.
Johnson pitched only one game last season for the Rockies. That's it.
He faced the Chicago Cubs on April 17 at Coors Field, allowing five runs in four innings. The next day he was sent to the minors and never returned.
For some reason, not one big league organization offered him a job after the season, either. "I guess, in Triple-A, I didn't have the numbers teams were looking for," said Johnson, who 5-11 with a 7.43 ERA for Colorado Springs of the Pacific Coast League.
Johnson, 28, is used to being overlooked, however. He wasn't drafted out of Mississippi State and signed with the Rockies as a free agent in 2005 for a measly $1000. Throughout the minors, he never overpowered anyone; still, he managed to win ten games working primarily as a Triple-A starter in both 2009 and 2010, respectively.
Lancaster manager Butch Hobson also knows his new pitcher gives up a lot of hits -- 559 to be exact; in 416 innings the past three seasons. "But he pounds the strike zone, and I'll take that all day," said Hobson.
Johnson was still good enough to pitch in the majors, though. He is one of just 978 players in history with a one-game major league career, according to baseballreference.com.
Does he want to get back to the bigs? Of course. But if Johnson's playing days were over tomorrow, he'd be satisfied; knowing he made it -- even if it was for just one game.
"I mean, I still feel I'm perfectly capable of pitching at that level," said Johnson.
"But if my career would end tomorrow, yeah, I'd be happy."
Some video used in this story is courtesy of ROOT Sports and KKTV-TV.