J.J.-Bartlett's Oklahoma connection
On Friday night, Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson is expected to pitch to Tampa Bay’s Jason Bartlett. Aside from being competitors, these two have a little history, dating back to Oklahoma.
Johnson, Florida’s ace pitcher, used to watch Bartlett play baseball at the University of Oklahoma.
In fact, Bartlett was a college teammate of Johnson’s older brother, Tyler, an outfielder at OU from 2001-03.
Tyler, listed at 6-foot-3, 220-pounds during his college days, was two school years ahead of Josh, who is now making a strong case to become a National League All-Star.
The Marlins drafted Johnson in the fourth round in 2002. Had the right-hander not signed with Florida, he planned on attending OU to be on the same team with his brother.
Many times Johnson watched the Sooners play, and he saw Bartlett at the college level before he became a big league shortstop. Greg Dobbs of the Phillies also played at OU at the time.
– Joe Frisaro