The LookOut sports

Santa Monica Sports Notes

Santa Monica Little League is hosting the Softball All-Stars this week, ages 13-14, 11-12 and 9-10.

Santa Monica teams will play Monday (11 and 12 year-olds) and Tuesday (9 and 10 year-olds)...

Former Crossroads and UCLA basketball star Baron Davis, now of the Charlotte Hornets, is playing in the Summer Pro League at Long Beach State College. He had 31 points for a team called Young Guns that defeated Pro West, 114-107 Saturday. Former SMC star guard James Gray is on the same team and scored nine points. Also playing in the league is Karim Abdul-Jabbar, son of the NBA's all-time leading scorer and a former SMC forward...

The Santa Monica Sea Splash womens' team of the Ultimate Soccer League will play Mission Viejo Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at Moorpark High School...

Former Outlook Sportswriter Dies at 50

By Mitch Chortkoff

Terry Johnson was my teammate at The Outlook and most recently wrote regularly in Santa Monica Bay Week.

He was a consummate pro, a 50-year-old sportswriter who looked out for younger members of the staff. What do they say, the good die young?

Johnson was killed on the Fourth of July when he was heading for Dodger Stadium, where he was scheduled to be the Official Scorer for the game against the Giants.

According to LAPD investigators he suffered a heart attack or stroke while driving. His car veered across lanes and hit parked cars. Later that evening his father-in-law phoned the Dodgers with the sad news.

Johnson leaves his wife, Vicky, and four children.

Johnson had a history of heart problems but, according to Vicky, was in good health in recent years until the last few weeks.

I learned of the death in a phone call from Chris Long, now of the Orange County Register but our former Outlook teammate. I went to the Dodgers' game on the 5th hoping to see Johnson there, hoping the news was inaccurate. But it wasn't.

The flag was at half-staff and Johnson's picture appeared on the Dodger Stadium message board while the crowd of 35,000 stood in a moment of silence.

Johnson covered the Dodgers and Angels for the Daily Breeze in Torrance and The Outlook. And in one memorable stretch earned the respect of everyone on the staff.

The Outlook had layoffs, and one victim was the paper's high school writer. Johnson was asked to fill in and plunged heavily into the work. Instead of doing the minimum he did the maximum, going to volleyball games, calling coaches throughout each day, proving he wasn't above doing anything asked even though his regular assignment was with professional teams.

Most recently he became Assistant Sports Editor at the Antelope Valley Press and was praised for his effort there.

Johnson spoke Spanish and was one of the few writers able to get interviews with Fernando Valenzuela during the Dodgers' Fernamdomania Era.

He covered the local scene for Santa Monica Bay Week. The last story he wrote was about basketball coach Scott McDowell leaving St. Monica to become Assistant Principal at North Torrance High.

Prior to that he wrote about Santa Monica High's Spring football practices. Even though Johnson lived in Stevenson Ranch, in the San Fernando Valley, he established strong relationship with the Santa Monica coaches. Football coach Norm Lacy kept him up to date on the Vikings.

Our profession will go on because it has to. But we have lost one of our best.
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