Johnson will wear No. 32 with Cardinals

Butte native Rob Johnson was issued No. 32 by the St. Louis Cardinals, according to the teams’ roster.

No St. Louis player has been issued No. 32 since pitcher Josh Hancock’s death in 2007. Hancock, who wore No. 32, was killed when the vehicle he was driving while intoxicated struck the rear of a flat-bed two tuck.

According to a story on the New England Sports Network’s website, Johnson, 30, was told of the number’s previous owner before selecting it. The selection was approved by the Cardinals’ front office. No. 32 was available to players in previous years, but no player opted to wear it.

The Cardinals’ pitchers and catchers report to spring training Tuesday in Jupiter, Fla. Their first official team workout is Wednesday.

Johnson, who was drafted by the Seattle Mariners before spending big league seasons with Seattle, San Diego and the New York Mets, signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

He is one of five catchers the team is taking to spring training. Adam Ehrlich, Jesus Montero, Audry Perez, Cody Stanley and J.R. Towles are the others.

Johnson wore No. 32 with the Mariners and the Padres. He was No. 16 with the Mets.