Deron Johnson, 53, a power hitter who played 16 seasons in the major leagues, died yesterday in Poway, Calif., after fighting lung cancer for nearly a year.
Last season was Johnson's third as California Angels hitting coach. After his illness was diagnosed as cancer last June, he was named a bench coach for 1992. But Johnson was too ill to attend spring training.
Johnson played for nine different clubs, making his big-league debut with the New York Yankees in 1960. In 1,765 career games, Johnson compiled a .244 average with 245 home runs and 923 RBI.
* YANKEES: Outfielder Danny Tartabull has a pulled left hamstring and might be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Meanwhile, the formal settlement of Leonard Kleinman's lawsuit against commissioner Fay Vincent was pushed back a day because documents arrived too late. Robert Costello, Kleinman's lawyer, said the delay was caused by the late arrival of documents signed by principal owner George Steinbrenner and managing general partner Joseph Molloy, who were in Tampa, Fla.
"When it absolutely, positively had to be there, it was not," Costello said. "The Federal Express plane was diverted . . . because of fog."
* MARINERS: Baseball's ownership committee will meet Thursday in Chicago to discuss the proposed sale of the club to a Japanese-backed group.