Randy Johnson has retired and we’ve lost one of this era’s best pitchers. Given his age, probably last era’s, too.
You’ve heard the big numbers on the Unit… five Cy Young awards, 303 wins, etc. Here are a few lesser known ones:
…he was tops among active pitchers (well when he WAS active) in complete games. And you know what? It’s not even close. His 100 is almost double of second place Tom Glavine’s 56.
…Led the majors in Strikeouts per 9 IP an amazing eleven times.
…Was baseball’s second oldest player at the time of his retirement at 46. Most of us know that greybeard Jamie Moyer is the oldest (he’s 47). And some of us might even make a guess at John Smoltz as the third oldest at age 42. But who’s the fourth oldest? Answer later.
…Back to Randy Johnson… he was the active leader in shutouts with 37.
…All told he led the majors in 56 various (positive) stat categories throughout his career (not counting the times he led in walks or HBPs because he did that too). Pretty impressive.
I had a friend (you know who are) who once felt the Big Unit wasn’t Hall of Fame-worthy. Granted, this was five or so years ago but we had a discussion about it. I’m wondering if he’s changed his mind by now.
Five years from now, I hope we’re not quibbling about whether Randy Johnson should be inducted into the Hall. He had the rare combination of longevity and intensity. The kind of pitcher that played for years but yet, was the kind that you wanted to pitch in the big game.
Like him or not, he gets in. For my money, if you could pit him against the current class, he gets in before any of them.