It’s official, Randy Johnson is a first ballot Hall of Famer! Over his twenty-two year career the lanky lefty amassed more than 300 wins, five Cy Young Awards (including four straight with the Venomous Snakes!), and more black ink than Dave Navarro, which is no small feat.
Speaking of small feet, Randy Johnson likely did not have them. Not if you subscribe to the reportedly tight correlation between the size of a man’s feet and other body parts, and assume he came by his nickname honestly. Johnson was an imposing figure on the mound. Standing 6’10”, the “Big Unit” threw hard and struck fear into the hearts of his opponents. Early in his career, Johnson’s pitches were as wild as the mullet that streamed from the back of his Mariners cap as he led the AL in walks for three consecutive years between 1990 and 1992 and hit batters in both 1992 and 1993. Johnson’s control would improve dramatically later in his career. Looking for a way to keep opposing batters honest and off the inside of the plate, Johnson decided to send a message during a 2001 spring training game. Johnson took steady aim and vaporized the bird, leaving only a cloud of feathers that hung in the air as a warning to his future opponents.
When Johnson wasn’t committing acts of avicide, he enjoyed acting. He got his start playing a terrifying giant in the 1994 children’s film, Little Big League. Johnson made a second cameo appearance in a 2006 episode of The Simpsons. He most recently starred opposite “minor baseball star” Aaron Hill in a 2013 episode of Franklin & Bash, or as it’s more commonly known, Saved by Bell: The Litigious Years.
Johnson’s passion for the arts extends beyond acting. In a move dripping with irony, the southpaw has transitioned to a post-baseball career as an acclaimed rock photographer (musicians, not geological formations). One can’t help but wonder if Randy treats his subjects with greater respect than he was shown by the fine photographers of New York upon his arrival as a Yankee, or if it’s in the nature of the cameraman to “talk back” to their subjects.
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