The Big Unit

“When you win, you want more of it. You can’t win enough.”
Randy Johnson

Randy Johnson won, and won, and won. Johnson won 303 games and yesterday was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Randy Johnson was so dominant on the mound that he won five Cy Young Awards. Johnson received over 97% of the vote. Johnson is second all-time in strikeouts with 4,875. Randy Johnson threw two no-hitters, one of which was a perfect game. Johnson was a 10 time All-Star.

Randy Johnson’s election to the Hall of Fame puts a huge smile on my face. I had the pleasure of broadcasting his games with the Indianapolis Indians for the entire 1988 season and for a short period in 1989. At that time he had a great arm, but had control issues. Did we see great potential? Yes. But there have been many pitchers who threw hard but could not harness their control. Randy improved throughout that 1988 season and got to the Major Leagues that September with the Montreal Expos. The “big change” in him came late in the 1992 season. Nolan Ryan, the all-time strikeout leader, had a conversation with Randy. Ryan studied Johnson’s delivery and advised Randy to land on the “ball” not the “heel” of his front foot. Johnson made the change. His control dramatically improved, and he became one of the all-time greats! Congrats to Randy Johnson – a great pitcher and a great competitor.

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