Johnny Temple (TRADING CARD DB)

Johnny Temple

This article was written by Bob Trostler

Johnny Temple (TRADING CARD DB)“Because Temple and I had once exchanged swings during a clubhouse scuffle, most people figured we had little use for one another. Actually, we were good friends. Temple was a high-strung individual … with an inferiority complex, which he attempted to conceal beneath a cover of braggadocio.1— sportswriter Earl Lawson

One of the top second basemen of the 1950s, Johnny Temple got the most out of his ability and never backed down. However, his life evolved into a destructive rags to riches to rags story. A six-time All-Star Game performer in a 13-year major league career (eight of which were spent with the Cincinnati Reds), he ended up destitute, a felon, and hidden from view.

A superb contact hitter, Temple walked almost twice as many times as he struck out, amassing an astonishing 648 free passes to 338 strikeouts in his major league career. He also finished with a .284 career batting average.

Temple was born on August 8, 1927, in remote Reeds Crossroads Township, North Carolina and grew up with three brothers, Aubrey, Shelbourne and Coy.2

“A big Saturday night (in Reeds Crossroads) was sitting in a car at the highway intersection watching the caution light flicker on and off,” Temple recalled.3

The son of Lester and Alma Temple, poor corn and tobacco farmers, Temple suffered a broken leg and severe burns on his left leg below the kneecap as a 16-year-old helping family members escape a house fire. Determined to overcome these handicaps, Temple participated in sports by covering his left leg with a protective device that he updated to a fibre glass shin guard as a professional. He served as captain of the Reeds High School baseball and basketball teams and graduated as the 1945 class valedictorian.4

At Reeds (now West Davidson), basketball was Temple’s main sport, and he was good enough to receive a scholarship to Duke University. “I found out that was no place for a poor farm boy to be, even on scholarship,” admitted Temple, who left the school after two weeks. “I didn’t have the kind of clothes those college kids wear. So, I went home to Catawba College (in Salisbury, North Carolina).”5

Temple faced the same problem with attire at Catawba. He joined the Navy and served on the aircraft carrier USS Randolph toward the end of World War II. It was while performing on Navy teams that Temple discovered he enjoyed playing baseball enough to try to make it a career.6

In 1948, Temple signed with scout Neil Millard for $150 a month after Temple, his brother Chub (Shelbourne), and a friend were the only ones to attend a Cincinnati Reds tryout camp in Mooresville, North Carolina. Millard also signed Chub for a $750 bonus.7

For the 1948 season, Temple played at Morganton, North Carolina, Cincinnati’s affiliate in the Class D Western Carolina League. He hit .316 in 59 games and earned a $250 bonus for staying there at least 30 days.8 The 5-11, 175-pound player also experienced his first of many professional baseball altercations. When Chuck Rudisell, a veteran minor leaguer, took a huge lead off second against Morganton, Temple, playing short, dashed behind second on the pitch. When Rudisell hustled head first back to the bag, Temple pretended to catch a throw from the catcher and slapped his glove on Rudisell. When Rudisell saw Temple smiling and that there had been no throw, he knocked Temple down with a sock on the nose. Temple quickly got up and the two battled it out until separated by teammates.9 Temple paced the Class C Pioneer League the following year by hitting a robust .400 in 116 games for Ogden, Utah.

The presence of slick-fielding shortstop Roy McMillan forced Temple to second base in 1951. Playing for the Double-A Texas League Tulsa Oilers, the pugnacious Temple had fights with Fort Worth pitcher Ben Taylor and Beaumont hurler Harry Schaeffer. In the bout with Schaeffer, Temple received a severe five-and-one-half-inch gash that required 14 stitches.10

“Every player in the Texas League wanted to fight me,” Temple said. “At least that’s the way it seemed to me. I know that most of my trouble was of my own making. I felt like everyone in the league was picking on me. It was absolutely the worst year of my life.”11

Described by one writer during 1952 spring training as, “A throw-back to the old-time hell-bent-for-leather tobacco-chewing players of the Ty Cobb Era,” Temple challenged for the Cincinnati second base assignment by getting eight hits in 13 at bats in three successive Grapefruit League games.12

Although Temple did not win the second base spot, he made the Reds’ Opening Day roster as a pinch-runner and late-inning defensive replacement.13 He was optioned to the Tulsa Oilers June 4 to make room for Willard Marshall, who was purchased from the Boston Braves.14 Temple returned to the Redlegs (management preferred the team be called Redlegs instead of Reds because of the ongoing Cold War) on September 9, batting leadoff and playing second, but not before sparking another altercation.15 At Oklahoma City June 23, Temple started a near brawl after taking a called third strike. Four Oilers were ejected immediately and another was expelled later.16 He also went two-for-four for the North in its 9-8 loss to the South in the Texas League’s All-Star Game July 21 in Oklahoma City.17 After being called up, Temple impressed at second base but got only one hit in his first 19 at bats before hitting a grand slam in an 8-7 victory over the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds.18 He ended up batting .196 in 30 games for Cincinnati and .306 in 103 games for Tulsa.

Temple battled returning starter Grady Hatton for the second base job early in 1953 spring training. However, Rocky Bridges, a utility infielder who had become another Cincy second base hopeful when acquired February 16, was named the starter and continued to start during the 1953 season despite hitting only .227 in 477 plate appearances.19 Temple batted .264 in 120 plate appearances.

Prior to 1954 spring training, Cincinnati officials knew Temple was ready to take charge of second base after receiving a glowing recommendation from Redleg coach Buster Mills. Mills had recently managed the outspoken infielder at La Pastora in the Venezuelan Winter League.20 Despite needing a tonsillectomy, Temple appeared in the Opening Day lineup.21 When he stole four bases, including home, in the team’s first 25 games while hitting .330 through May 12, he gave Redleg fans reason to wonder why former manager Rogers Hornsby didn’t play him instead of Rocky Bridges the previous season.22 Temple quickly became famous for his explosive temper and for his hustle and aggressiveness. “Temple has cussed out about every player on the club so far,” new Cincinnati Manager Birdie Tebbetts revealed. “He hasn’t got to me yet, but he will.”23

On the night of September 3, 1954, at Crosley Field, Temple and the equally hot-headed Milwaukee Braves shortstop Johnny Logan, began a feud that was to last nearly four years. When Cincy outfielder Jim Greengrass (6-1, 200) slid into second base while being forced on Temple’s bouncer to the mound for the first out of the eighth, his legs became tangled with those of Logan. Logan had taken a toss from pitcher Lew Burdette and stepped on the bag. While the 5-11, 175-pound Logan jerked his leg loose trying to throw to first for a possible double play, Greengrass tried to stand, but instead was knocked down. He then got up, angrily slammed Logan to the turf and the two exchanged blows and continued trying to punch each other even when separated by teammates. According to Temple, who had reached first base safely, Logan walked by after peace was restored and told him, “I’ll get you the first chance I have.” Needing no such enticement, Temple immediately thrust his head into Logan’s stomach, wrapped his arms around Logan trying to pin his arms and surged straight ahead to knock him down.24 It was one of the more memorable baseball fights, resembling more of a street fight with blood spurting and loose teeth before they were separated by police and teammates. For years afterward, any time Cincinnati played Milwaukee, Temple and Logan were assured of antagonizing each other at the very least. They exchanged blows numerous times, sometimes publicly, sometimes privately. Teammates would join in, throwing bean balls and applying tags as hard as possible. Finally, in about 1958, Temple pulled into second base and said, “Johnny, I’m not afraid of you and you’re not afraid of me. If this war goes on, somebody is going to get hurt bad. How about we call it off?” They shook hands at second base, and there was no more trouble.25

Despite frequently being ordered to take two strikes, Temple hit .307 in 146 games in 1954, stole a team-high 21 bases in 28 attempts and partnered with shortstop Roy McMillan to form one of the NL’s top middle infield combinations.26 The Redlegs placed fifth with a 74-80 record.

Temple earned the leadoff spot in 1955. He began a torrid streak in late June by reaching base 12 consecutive times on nine hits, including a three-run triple, and three walks.27 When he went seven-for-10 on July 31 in a doubleheader sweep over Pittsburgh, he upped his season average against the Pirates to a blistering .470 on 39 hits in 83 at bats.28 Temple hit .281 in 150 games, scored 94 runs, stole 19 bases in 23 tries and led major league second basemen by participating in 120 double plays as Cincy finished fifth with a 75-79 mark.29

Early in the 1956 season, Temple ended an errorless streak and a home run drought. After playing 34 games in a row, (15 in ’55 and 19 in ’56) and handling 183 chances without a miscue, he committed two errors May 9 in a 6-5 win over New York.30 And, after going 362 games and 1,255 at bats without a home run, Temple belted the third homer of his big-league career May 19 against the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Chuck Templeton in a 10-5 triumph at Ebbets Field. The three-run poke was Temple’s first circuit smash since June 6, 1953 when the combative infielder stroked a two-run homer off Pittsburgh’s Paul LaPalme at Forbes Field.31 Temple was hitting .283 through July 4. In balloting by the fans, he was chosen with teammates Roy McMillan, Frank Robinson, Gus Bell and Ed Bailey to start in the 1956 All-Star Game July 10 at Griffith Stadium in Washington, DC. Batting leadoff, Temple went two-for-four with two singles, a run scored, a stolen base and an RBI while playing every inning of the National League’s 7-3 victory.

Temple played in Cincinnati’s first 146 games that year before sitting out September 15 with a jammed knuckle on his right index finger and ended the 1956 season hitting .285 in a league-high 632 at bats.32 He also belted two of Cincy’s 221 homers, tying the then major league team mark set by the Giants in 1947.33 Moreover, Temple paced the league with 157 singles and NL second basemen with 389 putouts and 432 assists. The Redlegs remained in the race until the next-to-last day of the season before finishing third, two games back, with a 91-63-1 record. The finish was Cincinnati’s first in the first division since 1944.

Cincinnati sportswriter Earl Lawson was acting as official scorer during the June 21, 1957 Redlegs – Pirates game at Crosley Field. He charged Temple with an error on a hot smash that went through the second baseman’s legs in the top of the ninth. Temple took umbrage with the call. In the clubhouse following the game, Temple punched Lawson. The incident took place immediately after Temple made the last out in Cincinnati’s 3-2, 11-inning loss. After Lawson identified himself as the official scorer, Temple blistered the reporter with obscenities. Lawson covered the Reds for 34 years. He responded to Temple, “Why don’t you grow up?” Temple asked Lawson to repeat what he said, then he attacked the reporter. Lawson came back swinging. Other players, including Ted Kluszewski, kept the combatants apart. Lawson suffered a scratched eyeball and had to wear a bandage with ointment over almost half of his face. Temple, fined only $100 by NL president Warren Giles, apologized to Larson in front of the team the next day.34

An estimated 500,000 late votes from Cincinnati helped select Temple, Roy McMillan, Don Hoak, Frank Robinson, Ed Bailey, Wally Post, George Crowe and Gus Bell of the Redlegs to start in the 1957 All-Star Game. Commissioner Ford Frick, however, did not appreciate this monopolistic gesture and dismissed Post and Crowe from the team and removed Bell from the starting lineup.35 Temple, who went 0-for-2 in the NL’s 6-5 setback July 9 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, hit .284 in 1957. He also walked 94 times to tie Richie Ashburn for the league lead. Despite his efforts, Cincy dropped to fourth with an 80-74 mark. Following the season, Temple managed Pastora in the Venezuelan Winter League until being let go after getting fined for arguing with an umpire and revealing he would not be attending the Caribbean Series.36

Temple routinely shrugged off injuries. He played four games in May 1958 against Los Angeles and St. Louis with eight stitches in his knee courtesy of a spike wound from Willie Mays.37 Through games of July 16 of that year, Temple exceled in the leadoff spot. He hit .305 as the only Redleg with at least a .300 batting average.38 Temple’s productive year, however, ended abruptly September 14 when he suffered a hairline fracture of the ribs when collided with San Francisco’s sliding Daryl Spencer.39 Temple ended up batting .306 with three homers, 47 RBIs and 91 walks, second in the loop behind Richie Ashburn’s 97 free passes. Cincy finished fourth in 1958 at 76-78.

When Temple batted first against Los Angeles May 18, 1959, he set a Reds record for most games batting leadoff with 641, breaking the mark of outfielder Bob Bescher.40 Bescher played for Cincinnati from 1908 through 1913. Temple started his third and fourth All-Star Games in 1959 as MLB opted to play two All-Star Games from 1959-1962 to benefit the players’ pension fund. He went 0-for-2 in the Nationals’ 5-4 victory at Forbes Field and 1-for-2 with a double and run scored in the AL’s 5-3 win at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. When Temple smacked his seventh homer of the season September 14 against the Giants’ Johnny Antonelli, it matched the combined total of his previous seven seasons.41 Temple ended a phenomenal year with career highs in homers (eight), RBIs (67), runs (102), hits (186) and average (.311) as the Redlegs finished 74-80, tied for fifth with the Cubs.

Despite Temple’s stellar campaign, Cincy used him to try to improve its woeful 4.31 (seventh in the loop) team ERA by trading him to the Cleveland Indians December 15 for pitcher Cal McLish (19-8 in ’59), first baseman Gordy Coleman and infielder Billy Martin.

Shortly after the swap, Temple told Indian fans what to expect from him. “I can’t stand a guy who loafs,” he emphasized. “I play ball for all I’m worth, and I think every professional ball player should do the same. I’ll do all in my power to get along with my teammates and the people of Cleveland. There’s only one thing I’ll never do. I’ll never stop hustling.”42 Eager to please his new team, Temple volunteered to stay in the lineup despite suffering a slow healing ankle injury May 21 (later revealed to be a fracture).43 With the Indians out of contention and no longer playing regularly because of his injured ankle, Temple was sent home the last week of the season. Before leaving, the disheartened performer left a note in the clubhouse stating, “I’m very sorry I could not have done more to help out this season. I suppose that’s the way it goes. It was nice being with all of you. You’re a great bunch of guys with a real chance to become a pennant winner.”44 Temple played in only 98 games in 1960 and batted a disappointing .268 with two homers and 19 RBIs. Cleveland finished fourth with a 76-78 mark.

The 33-year-old player began the following season with a 19-game hitting streak. On June 7, he ranked fourth in the league with a .328 batting average.45 Chosen to start in his fifth and sixth All-Star Games in 1961, Temple became the first second baseman to play for both major leagues in All-Star competition.46 He went 0-for-3 in the AL’s 5-4, 10-inning loss at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. He went 0-for-2 in a 1-1 tie halted after nine innings (because of rain) at Fenway Park. In the last of the seventh in the first game of a doubleheader September 10 at Yankee Stadium, Temple rushed to the rescue of teammate Jimmy Piersall after two teenagers jumped out of the stands to attack the center fielder at his position. Piersall punched and kicked the hooligans while Temple, with teammate Walt Bond, joined park police in helping to subdue them.47 Although Temple upped his average to .276 with three homers and 30 RBIs in 129 games, the improvement was not enough to keep him in Cleveland for 1962. On November 16, the Indians traded Temple to Baltimore for Ray Barker, Harry Chiti and minor-leaguer Artie Kay.

Temple won the Oriole second base spot in 1962 spring training, but lost his starting position in July because of injuries.48 The Orioles sold him August 11 to the first-year Houston Colt .45s. He played in 109 games (78 with the Orioles) in 1962 and hit .263 for both Baltimore and Houston in 423 plate appearances.

Deciding to return to the Colt .45s in 1963 after having minor surgery, Temple had been fined three times totaling $175 through June 30 for arguing with umpires. He claimed six or seven of them had conspired to get him. Temple later apologized for his comments.49 Hampered by a slow-healing groin injury the second half of the season, Temple still managed to get into 100 games in 1963 and make 377 plate appearances.50 He hit .264 with one homer and 17 RBIs as the Colt .45s finished ninth at 66-96.

Released by Houston as a player at the end of the season, Temple’s life took a downward turn when he came back to the Reds as a coach in 1964. Manager Fred Hutchinson wanted Temple to mentor rookie-of-the-year Pete Rose.51 However, Cincy assistant general manager Phil Seghi wanted Temple to stay in shape so he could activate him as a player when a roster spot became available. Feeling ignored, unaccepted, and isolated from the other coaches, Temple became increasingly embittered and disillusioned.52 When coach Dick Sisler took over as acting manager in mid-season because of Hutchinson’s worsening chest cancer condition (he died November 12), Temple’s status became even more tenuous.53

The situation came to a head August 28. After being fired by Seghi during a morning meeting, Temple got into an altercation with Cincy coach Reggie Otero in the team’s clubhouse at Crosley Field. After exchanging words, Temple swung and missed. Otero then held Temple around the head with his right arm and landed jabs with his left before players broke it up.54

“Twelve years ago, I walked into this park a top-notch professional player,” Temple said. “I’m going out like a bum—beat up, nothing to do and nowhere to go.”55 Temple lived in Houston. He accepted a Reds assignment for the rest of the season scouting teams coming into Houston.56 He also saw limited action when placed on the active roster June 21, appearing in six games and going 0-for-3, before becoming inactive again July 15.57 Meanwhile, the Reds stayed in the 1964 pennant race until the last day of the season, finishing tied for second one game out with a 92-70 record. After the season, Temple worked as a roofer and said he was done with baseball.58

In 1965, the Reds’ Hall of Fame inducted Temple, as well as fellow Cincinnati legends Larry Kopf, Red Lucas, Wally Post and Fred Hutchinson.59 Nine years later, Temple wrote speeches for Governor John C. West of South Carolina.60

In November of 1977, Temple was arrested and identified as one of eight men accused of stealing farm equipment in western North Carolina. He faced a charge of grand larceny.61 What happened to make one of baseball’s top players of the ’50s become a criminal? Temple’s wife, Becky, wrote an emotional letter to long-time Cincinnati sportswriter Earl Lawson, asking for help after her husband’s arrest:

“After Johnny’s fight with Otero, he tried to get other jobs in baseball and most people would not show him the courtesy of returning his call.

“After a while, Johnny got a radio job in Houston, which led shortly to the sports director position at KHOU-TV.

“People began to come to Johnny with business deals,” she continued. “And he decided to go into the recreational vehicle venture—campers, boats, motor homes, etc. His partner was the business manager and Johnny was the public relations man. We thought everything was fine. We had a lovely home; we were living well and had no problems. Our only child, Mike, was attending Texas A&M. Then, all of sudden, things were not fine at all. We were in trouble with the government (taxes) and all the banks on our floor plans [loans for vehicle inventory]. Johnny and I never had any business sense and Johnny somehow always picks the wrong person to trust.”62

Becky admitted they did not pay withholding taxes and money for social security. Also, after a fire, the Temples discovered they were no longer insured because the premium had not been paid. They lost their land and incurred large legal bills. The banks foreclosed and they lost everything—home, business, and about $230,000 in land equity and stock.

When the couple moved to Columbia, South Carolina in 1972 to live with Becky’s parents, Temple developed a drinking problem. Again, when he tried to get back into baseball, no one would speak to him. Eventually, Temple got a $17,500-a-year job with a state agency and they moved into an apartment. However, judgments against Temple from the Houston debacle followed them. When the state fired Temple in 1975 for allegedly duplicating $30 worth of expense vouchers over three years, he was devastated. Living in a mountain cabin with Becky on a $437-a-month baseball pension, Temple finally found a warehouse job for $2.30 an hour. The physical requirements of the position, however, aggravated some of his old baseball injuries and destroyed his bad knee.63

Becky’s heartfelt letter to Lawson, published with her name and address in TSN, The Cincinnati Post, was carried across the country by the Associated Press and United Press International. It prompted people to send hundreds of checks, mostly in $5 to $20 increments, in her name totaling several thousand dollars. “An anonymous friend in Cincinnati” was said to be paying for a lawyer and psychiatric treatment. Temple pleaded guilty to felonious larceny and agreed to testify against his co-conspirators in several cases, but the final disposition of the charges against him was not reported.64

After his testimony, Temple disappeared. When the Reds tried to invite him to an old-timers game in 1982, they couldn’t find him. One former teammate thought he might have gone into the witness protection program.65

Temple died of pancreatic cancer January 9, 1994, at the home of his son, Michael, in White Rock, South Carolina. He was buried at Bethel Lutheran Church Cemetery in White Rock. His wife, Becky, survived him.



This biography was reviewed by Warren Corbett and Bruce Harris and fact-checked by Russ Walsh.



In addition to the sources listed in the notes, the author relied on information from,, Baseball Almanac and Davidson County Schools, Lexington, North Carolina.



1 Earl Lawson, Cincinnati Seasons, My 34 Years with the Reds (South Bend, Indiana: Diamond Communications, Inc., 1987), 60.

2 Regis McAuley, “Temple Top Toughie with Bat – or Fists,” The Sporting News, February 3, 1960: 3, and William A. Cook, Johnny Temple All-Star Second Baseman (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2016), 5.

3 Lawson, Cincinnati Seasons, My 34 Years with the Reds, 55.

4 Cook, Johnny Temple All-Star Second Baseman, 5-6, and Dick Young, “Neal Puts Aluminum Device Over Shins: Temple Has Covering for Burned Spot,” The Sporting News, April 9, 1958: 20.

5 McAuley, “Temple Top Toughie with Bat – or Fists.”

6 Cook, Johnny Temple All-Star Second Baseman, 7, and McAuley, “Temple Top Toughie with Bat – or Fists.”

7 McAuley, “Temple Top Toughie with Bat – or Fists.”

8 McAuley, “Temple Top Toughie with Bat – or Fists.”

9 McAuley, “Temple Top Toughie with Bat – or Fists.”

10 John Cronley, “Missions Reverse Order, Grab Lead,” The Sporting News, May 9, 1951: 29.

11 McAuley, “Temple Top Toughie with Bat – or Fists.”

12 Earl Lawson, “Johnny Temple – From Demigod to Disgrace,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1977: 47, and Tom Swope, “Reds Vision Plenty of Trouble – Hope It’s for Opposing Teams,” The Sporting News, March 26, 1952: 20

13 Regis McAuley, “Temple Sees Red When Teammate Loafs,” The Sporting News, February 10, 1960: 11-12.

14 Tom Swope, “Reds Come and Go at Faster Pace as Club Starts to Lag,” The Sporting News, June 11, 1952: 9.

15 Tom Swope, “Rog Has Reds Playing Better Than .500 Ball,” The Sporting News, September 17, 1952: 14.

16 John Cronley, “Eagles Flying High on Consistent Play,” The Sporting News, July 2, 1952: 31.

17 John Cronley, “Underdog South Edges Out Win in All-Star Slugfest,” The Sporting News, July 30, 1952: 31.

18 Tom Swope, “Interest in Rookie Greengrass Grows High in Cincy,” The Sporting News, September 24, 1952: 5.

19 Tom Swope, “Adcock Goes to Braves and Reds Land Bridges in Multiple Swap,” The Sporting News, February 25, 1953: 5.

20 Tom Swope, “‘He Can’t Miss’ Tag Pinned on Temple as Redleg Keystoner,” The Sporting News, March 10, 1954: 18.

21 “Temple Needs Tonsillectomy—But Can’t Find the Time,” The Sporting News, April 14, 1954: 24, and “Games of Tuesday, April 13,” The Sporting News, April 21, 1954: 21.

22 Earl Lawson, “Temple Kept Telling Redlegs He Was Ready,” The Sporting News, May 19, 1954: 3, and Tom Swope, “May 9 Red-Letter Day for Reds’ Ted – and Torrid Bat,” The Sporting News, May 19, 1954: 15, and “N.L. Averages,” The Sporting News, May 19, 1954: 18.

23 “Leaders in Unofficial N.L. Ratings,” The Sporting News, January 6, 1954: 2, and Tom Lawson, “Temple Kept Telling Redlegs He Was Ready.”

24 “Logan, Greengrass Clash Starts Hot Free-for-All by Braves, Reds,” The Sporting News, September 15, 1954: 11.

25 Bill James, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (New York: The Free Press, a division of Simon B. Schuster, Inc., 2001), 617.

26 Tom Swope, “Reds Show Gains in Wins, Double Plays and at Gate,” The Sporting News, September 22, 1954: 14, and Earl Lawson, “Temple’s Bat Blasts Holes in ‘Take’ Sign,” The Sporting News, October 14, 1959: 16.

27 “Temple on Base 12 Straight Times—Then Line Drive DP,” The Sporting News, July 13, 1955: 26.

28 “Bucs No Bugaboo to Temple,” The Sporting News, August 10, 1955: 19.

29 John C. Hoffman, “Outstanding Double Play Duos Dwindle,” The Sporting News, November 23, 1955: 3.

30 “Major Flashes, National League,” The Sporting News, May 23, 1956: 23.

31 “Temple Ends Homer Famine, Raps First Clout Since ’53,” The Sporting News, May 30, 1956: 24.

32 “Diamond Dust,” The Sporting News, September 26, 1956: 42.

33 The 2019 Minnesota Twins hold the current MLB home run record with 307 dingers.

34 Lawson, Cincinnati Seasons, My 34 Years with the Reds, 60-61.

35 Oscar Kahan, “Redleg Vote Deluge to Bring Change in All-Stars’ Selection,” The Sporting News, July 10, 1957: 15.

36 Earl Lawson, “Gabe Won’t Give Inch to Braves as Long N.L. Rulers,” The Sporting News, October 23, 1957: 17, and Olaf E. Dickson, “Johnny Temple Out as Pastora Manager,” The Sporting News, November 20, 1957: 23.

37 Earl Lawson, “Pace-Setter Frankie Lags, Redleg Hitters Follow Suit,” The Sporting News, June 4, 1958: 8.

38Earl Lawson, “Birdie Goes into Deep Sweat While Cincy Sluggers Snooze,” The Sporting News, July 23, 1958: 11, and “N.L. Averages,” The Sporting News, July 23, 1958: 28.

39 Bob Stevens, “Jackson Third to Be Kayoed by Spencer’s Base Sprints,” The Sporting News, October 1, 1958: 42.

40 Lee Allen, “Temple Breaks 75-Year Mark – Red Leadoff Hitter in 641 Games,” The Sporting News, May 27, 1959: 14.

41 “Temple Ties 7-Yr. HR Total,” The Sporting News, September 23, 1959: 33.

42 McAuley, “Temple Sees Red When Teammate Loafs”, 11-12.

43 Hal Lebovitz, “Nats’ Castoff Grabs Steady Wigwam Job,” The Sporting News, June 15, 1960: 9.

44 “’Sorry I Couldn’t Do More,’ Temple Writes in Farewell,” The Sporting News, October 5, 1960: 44.

45 Ed McAuley, “Temple Bells Ring Merry Tepee Melody,” The Sporting News, June 14, 1961: 3.

46 Joe McGuff, “Royals Turn Purple Over Rojas’ All-Star Snub,” The Sporting News, June 12, 1971: 13.

47 “Teammates Bond, Temple Rush to Piersall’s Rescue,” The Sporting News, September 20, 1961: 11.

48 Doug Brown, “Bad Day for Battling Billy, Loses to Ump and Tigers,” The Sporting News, July 21, 1962: 6, and Doug Brown, “Pep Talk Hits Mark; Brandt Snaps Slump,” The Sporting News, August 18, 1962: 22.

49 “Temple Fined Third Time,” The Sporting News, July 6, 1963: 25, and Clark Nealon, “Fiery Temple Backs Away from Ump Conspiracy Rap,” The Sporting News, July 13, 1963: 32.

50 Mickey Herskowitz, “Hurlers Brown, Nottebart Boost Colts’ Swap Rep,” The Sporting News, September 7, 1963: 18.

51 Lawson, Cincinnati Seasons, My 34 Years with the Reds, 65, and Earl Lawson, “Coach Temple Could Fill Dual Role with Reds—Hot Corner Sub,” The Sporting News, December 28, 1963: 8.

52 Earl Lawson, “Tormented Temple Quits Cincy as Crushed Idol,” The Sporting News, September 12, 1964: 15.

53 Lawson, Cincinnati Seasons, My 34 Years with the Reds, 66.

54 Lawson, “Tormented Temple Quits Cincy as Crushed Idol.”

55 Lawson, “Tormented Temple Quits Cincy as Crushed Idol.”

56 Lawson, “Tormented Temple Quits Cincy as Crushed Idol.”

57 Earl Lawson, “Jay Jumps Out of Doghouse; Reds’ Kingpin Curver Now,” The Sporting News, July 4, 1964: 13, and Earl Lawson, “Reds Play Riding Hood, Rather Than Wolf, in Old Casey’s Den,” The Sporting News, July 25, 1964: 10.

58 Earl Lawson, “Aspromonte Tagged as Aspirin for Reds’ Hot-Sack Headache,” The Sporting News, December 12, 1964: 12.

59 Earl Lawson, “Hutch, Post, Lucas, Kopf, Temple Enshrined in Cincy,” The Sporting News, July 31, 1965: 27.

60 Lawson, “Hutch, Post, Lucas, Kopf, Temple Enshrined in Cincy.”

61 “Caught on the fly,” The Sporting News, November 19, 1977: 63, and Earl Lawson, “Johnny Temple – From Demigod to Disgrace,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1977: 47.

62 Lawson, “Johnny Temple – From Demigod to Disgrace.”

63 Lawson, “Johnny Temple – From Demigod to Disgrace.”

64 Mickey Herskowitz and Steve Perkins, “Temple Hoping for Probation,” Universal Press Syndicate-Asheville Citizen-Times, January 4, 1978: 25.

65 Lawson, Cincinnati Seasons: My 34 Years with the Reds, 59, 60, and James, The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, 517-518.

Full Name

John Ellis Temple


August 8, 1927 at Lexington, NC (USA)


January 9, 1994 at White Rock, SC (USA)

If you can help us improve this player’s biography, contact us.