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Detroit Tigers Acquire Orange County Flyers Of Ben Johnson

June 8, 2010 - Golden Baseball League (GBL) News Release

The Golden Baseball League is pleased to announce that the the Detroit Tigers have purchased the contract of Orange County Flyers outfielder Ben Johnson, who will report immediately to their Double-A affiliate in Erie, Pennsylvania. Johnson will be reunited with last season's Flyers manager Phil Nevin who was hired to manage the Erie SeaWolves in the off-season. Current Flyers manager Paul Abbott and Exec. VP Player Personnel Harris Tulchin negotiated with Nevin and Detroit's Director of Minor League Operations Dan Lunetta over the weekend to make the deal.

Johnson, who turns 29 later this month, ranks among the top five in the Golden Baseball League in homeruns (4), RBI (17), and batting average (.405), and has hit safely in all 12 games he has played in this season. On opening night, he smashed two homeruns and drove in a franchise record-tying seven RBI in a 15-14 win over the St. George RoadRunners. He started the first 12 games of the year for the Flyers in right field.

"Ben Johnson is more than ready to continue his major league career," said Flyers manager Paul Abbott. "We're very proud of the job he did for our club this season, and we wish him the best of luck with the Tigers."

After being a 4th round draft choice of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999, Johnson spent three seasons in the Major Leagues with the San Diego Padres (2005-2006) and New York Mets (2007). It was with the Padres where he and Nevin were teammates. Nevin brought Johnson to Orange County last season, where he appeared in 14 games over the final month of the regular season. Now the duo will reunite again as manager and player with the SeaWolves.

Johnson is 10th player to have his contract purchased by a Major League organization in Orange County Flyers franchise history and the 104th GBL player signed since the league's inception in 2005. He is the first Flyer to have his contract purchased by the Tigers.

Added Tulchin, "Ben's move to the Tiger organization embodies the OC Flyers' spirit, as we continue to find and nurture talented players who we believe can quickly display their skills, get noticed, and make the jump to, or in Ben's case get back to MLB clubs. We are extremely happy for Ben."

Johnson is the 4th Golden Baseball League Player acquired by a major league organization this season.

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