Randy Johnson Retires From Baseball

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(Photo Courtesy of USC)

Former USC Trojan, Randy Johnson, announced yesterday that after 22 seasons he is retiring from Major League Baseball.

The Big Unit pitched at USC from 1983-1985. He pitched 67 games for the Trojans and finished with a 16-12 record, a 4.66 ERA and five saves. IN 243 1/3 innings, he allowed 225 hits with 188 walks and 206 strikeouts.

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(Photo Courtesy of USC)

Despite playing 22 seasons, winning over 300 games, winning five Cy Young awards, making 10 All-Star appearances, winning a World Series ring and World Series co-MVP, throwing 2 no-hitters and a perfect game, Johnson is hated in avian and ornithology communities around the world because of this pitch:

I have seen that clip 1,000 times and it continues to amaze me. Pure awesomeness in the rawest form.

More of Randy’s career after the jump….


At 6-foot-10 and with a 100 mph fastball and 90 mph slider Johnson was one of the most intimidating pitchers to ever stand on the rubber.

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(LOREN CALLAHAN / AP)

My friends and I used to joke that after Johnson struck out an opposing batter he looked like he was going to do a Mortal Kombat finishing move. We would imagine Johnson pulling out the players heart Mola Ram style or ripping off the batters head with the spine still attached and taking a bit out of his skull.

Johnson was drafted in the second round of the 1985 draft by the Montreal Expos. He made it to the Majors in 1988.

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In May of 1989 Johnson was traded to the Seattle Mariners. Around the league Johnson soon became known for a 100 mph fastball and his mesmerizing mullet. It was rumored that if you stared at the mullet too long, you might turn to stone. The Big Unit has Medusa like powers. If you look closely Edgar Martinez has his eyes closed in the below photo.

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(TOM REESE / THE SEATTLE TIMES)

In 1995, Johnson won his first Cy Young award while on the Seattle Mariners. Johnson finished with an 18-2 record, a 2.48 era and 294 K’s. Like Samson, The Unit’s strength came from his glorious locks of hair.

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(Photo by AP)

After the 1998 season Johnson was to set to become a free agent and command an enormous salary. Due to economic issues, the Mariners would not be able to afford Johnson, so they traded him to the Houston Astros at the trade deadline. Johnson went 10-1 with a 1.28 ERA while at Houston and led them to the playoffs. They were eventually eliminated by the San Diego Padres.

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(Photp by Al Tielemans/SI)

In the off season, Johnson signed with the Arizona Diamond Backs.

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(Photo by AP)

In Arizona, the Unit won four straight Cy Young awards (1999-2002). In 2001 Johnson and the Diamond Backs won the World Series. Johnson was named co-MVP of the World Series with Curt Schilling.

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(Photo by AP)

In 2002 along with a Cy Young, Johnson won the triple crown, leading the NL with most wins (24-5 record), lowest ERA (2.32) and most strikeouts (334).

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(Photo by AP)

In 2005, Johnson was traded to the New York Yankees. Upon arriving in New York, Johnson had a run in with a camera man. Johnson told that camera man, “don’t get in my face.” When the camera man responded, Johnson told him, “don’t talk back to me.” This was an important lesson for everyone, don’t fuck with Randy Johnson.

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(Photo by Icon Sports Media)

Johnson was traded back to the Diamond Backs in 2007. He pitched two seasons in Arizona and then singed as a free agent in San Francisco in 2009 where he finished his career.

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(Photo by Brad Mangin/SI)

Former MLB utility player and Angels color commentator Rex Hudler tells a funny story about The Unit. Hudler once tried to bunt on Johnson and Randy told him to “swing the bat puss.”

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(Photo by V.J. Lovero/SI)

Johnson pitched until he was 46 years old. At age 40 he threw a perfect game. He finished his career with a 303-166 record. Johnson is only the 24th pitcher to reach the 300 win milestone and many believe that he may be the last. Johnson is second in career strikeouts with 4,875 in 4,135 1/3 innings. Only Nolan Ryan has more with 5,714.

Nolan Ryan is also credited with rejuvenating Johnson’s career. Before The Unit met with Ryan, he had a tendency to be wild on the mound. Nolan gave The Unit some words of encouragement and helped to adjust his pitching mechanics.

Johnson’s next career milestone will be in 2015, when he is elected to Cooperstown as a first ballot hall of famer.

One final note on Johnson, chicks love The Big Unit.

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(Photo by Icon Sports Media)

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