WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Nationals honored Davey Johnson on Sunday, paying tribute to the retiring 70-year-old manager who last season guided the team to its only playoff appearance.
Johnson was feted during a 15-minute ceremony that featured video tributes and highlights of his playing and managing career.
The team presented Johnson with an engraved Tiffany crystal before a day-night doubleheader against Miami, the Nationals' final home games of the regular season.
"It was really nicely done," Johnson said of the ceremony after a 4-2 loss to the Marlins.
The loss dropped the Nationals to 5½ games behind Cincinnati for the final NL wild-card spot.
"Davey, first of all, this is not goodbye. Next season, you and I will continue what we started here, only you'll have a new title. I imagine we'll refer to you as senior adviser to the general manager, with the emphasis on 'senior,'" general manager Mike Rizzo said in a video.
Rizzo said that when Johnson took over in 2011, "we were a team in distress."
"For a variety of reasons our young team, while talented, was suffering a crisis of confidence and needed a steady hand. You were that steady hand, Davey," he said.
Johnson's former teammates in Baltimore, Jim Palmer and Boog Powell, along former Orioles star Cal Ripken spoke on the video.
After the tributes were shown, the Nationals' roster came out in front of the dugout and Johnson worked his way through the line, exchanging hugs with his players and coaches.
"Players coming out and players talking about me," Johnson said. "It was moving. Something like that makes you happy and sad at the same time."
Said third baseman Ryan Zimmerman: "He doesn't like that kind of stuff. He doesn't like being put out there and to be put above everyone else, which is the kind of guy he is. But I think he appreciated it and enjoyed it."