A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 27 Randy Johnson (Number 5 Pitcher)

I always liked Randy Johnson. He was 6 foot 10 inches, left-handed (I eat and write left-handed, otherwise it depends which is why I was never graceful) and not that good looking. I like unique individuals and Randy is unique. Basically, he looked like arms and legs coming at you when he pitched.

It must have been scary for left-handed batters. The moment was when John Kruk came up against Johnson at an all-star game early in Johnson’s career. He just whipped the ball over Kruk’s head over 100 miles an hour.  Kruk saw his life pass before his eyes. Johnson then threw two balls inside catching the corner of the plate. Kruk kept backing up in the batter’s box. Then Johnson threw a pitch on the outside just off the plate. Kruk just swung so it would be strike 3 and he wouldn’t have to bat anymore. Kruk said he came up hoping to get a piece of the ball, but after the first pitch he just wanted to finish the first pitch alive. He said I’m still alive, so it was a successful at bat. One of the great moments in all start history because it was fun.

Randy had his first decent season when he was 26 years old. That didn’t make it easy to get to 300 victories. However, at age 29 he went up another level and received CY Young votes 10 of the next 12 seasons. The two he didn’t he was hurt. Not only that it wasn’t just getting votes he won 5 awards, had 3 seconds and one third. He should have won one at age 40 when he was runner-up. He had a better year than the winner Roger Clemons. However, his won-loss record wasn’t that great as he had a 16-14 record, because the team finished 51-111 that year. There record without Randy was 35 and 97 a 3.40 winning percentage. Now days this would be recognized, and he would win the award.

The interesting thing is Randy Johnson peaked from age 35 to 38 and won the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher 4 years in a row. His best year was in 2002 at the age of 38. He then pitched until age 45 to nab his 300th victory as a member of the San Francisco Giants. Definitely in my opinion the greatest left-handed pitcher of all time and an argument could be made he was the greatest pitcher of all time.

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Author: Douglas Byzewski

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