Randy Johnson “The Big Unit”
Randy Johnson played in the major leagues for 22 seasons from 1988 to 2009. He played for six different MLB teams throughout his illustrious career. His pitching career started when he was drafted in the second-round of the MLB Draft in 1985 by the Montreal Expos. Three years earlier, he selected in the fourth round by the Atlanta Braves, but decided to go to college at USC instead to play college baseball.
Johnson was traded to the Seattle Mariners in 1989. He had a one year stint with the Houston Astros in 1998, before moving to the Arizona Diamondbacks for the 1999-2004 seasons.
The Big Unit was one of the key players, along with fellow pitcher Curt Schilling, who led the Diamondbacks to their 2001 World Series Championship. They were co-MVP’s of the 2001 World Series, which had never happened previously. Arizona defeated the New York Yankees in the 2001 World Series in seven games, winning on a famous walk-off single by Luis Gonzalez off of legendary Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.
After the 2004 season, Johnson was traded to the New York Yankees, who he had vanquished just a few years. He played for New York for only two seasons, in 2005 and in 2006.
In the offseason after the 2006 season, he was traded back to the Arizona Diamondbacks and played for them in 2007-2008. Johnson helped them reach the NLCS in 2007, but they were swept by the red-hot Colorado Rockies, who eventually lost to the Boston Red Sox in a sweep in the 2007 World Series.
Johnson played his final MLB season with the San Francisco Giants in 2009, before he announced his retirement on January 5th, 2010.
Randy Johnson will also forever be known as the guy who killed a bird with a pitch. If you’ve never seen the video, just google those words and I promise it will show up. In 2015, he was elected into the baseball Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot, as a member of the Diamondbacks. This illustrates the kind of dominance Johnson showed throughout his big league career. At 6’10, the Big Unit was a larger than life character both on and off the field.
Johnson recorded 303 career wins in his career. This is the fifth most all time in MLB history for a left-handed pitcher. These wins records aren’t going to be really touched anymore because starting pitchers aren’t pitching as deep into ball games, and bullpen are used more frequently. The Big Unit also struck out 4,875 batters in his incredible career. This is the most strikeouts of all time for a left-handed pitcher and the second most strikeouts in MLB History, behind Nolan Ryan’s untouchable 5714. Johnson’s place in the second spot for career K’s may also never be broken. . He has also thrown five no hitters in his career, and one perfect game, at 40 years old in 2004.
Randy Johnson is one of 18 pitchers to win against all 30 teams in the MLB. He pitched an amazing 4,135.1 innings in his career, and finished with a lifetime ERA of 3.29 and WHIP of 1.171. He started in 603 career games in his illustrious career, good for eighth all time.
Randy Johnson was a 10-time all-star. He also won the Cy Young Award five times. The only other pitcher to have won the award more than him is Roger Clemens, with seven. In 1999, Randy Johnson joined Pedro Martinez and Gaylord Perry as the only pitchers to have won Cy Young in both the National and American leagues.