Randy Johnson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.
His speech, emotional and heart-warming, focused more on the people who helped him earn the reputable name in the sporting world and less about his own personal achievements. He was among the 53 living Hall of Famers who were in attendance at the ceremony at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Johnson became the tallest Hall of Famer – with 6 feet, 10 inches – and the first player whose plaque had a Diamondbacks logo on the cap.
He thanked his parents and siblings, owners of the teams he represented and his fans.
“I got caught up with the emotions,” Johnson said later.
“Different emotions than what I would pitch with — completely different. But that’s good. I’m still an emotional person.”
Although Johnson received his Hall of Fame induction as an Arizona Diamondback, he included the time he spent with the Expos, Mariners, Astros, Yankees and Giants in his speech.
Of the Expos, Johnson said, “First team that gave me an opportunity to play in the Major Leagues. I’m forever indebted to them. As you know, my Minor League career was not stellar.”
Johnson had debated whether he wanted to become a Hall of Famer as a Mariner.
“I’m very proud to have played there for 10 years,” Johnson said, according to MLB.com. “Thank you, Seattle.”
Johnson’s father, Bud Johnson, passed away before he could see the success and glory his son would go on to achieve later.
“He saw three years of my career, not a lot to brag about,” Johnson said. “But there was that one game where I threw a no-hitter. I gave him a call, and he said it was far from perfect — I walked [six] batters. Thirteen or 14 years later, I was perfect, Dad, that one game.”
Johnson also mentioned Zach Farmer, a former Ohio State left-hander who is currently suffering from leukemia, in his speech.
“Zach, I love you,” Johnson said. “I haven’t met you before, but hang in there.”
“I thought, ‘What better way to reach out to him on the biggest stage of my professional career and tell him that I love him?'” Johnson said later.
Johnson also thanked his children, his siblings and lastly, and most importantly, his mother, Carol.
“Then there’s my mom, the backbone to our family,” Johnson said. “Working 25 years for General Electric as a secretary. I’m one of six children, she raised six children, still had a full-time job and came home and fed us and took care of all of us.
“Thank you, Mom. You’re the Hall of Famer. I love you so much. You’re the most important person in my life.”
According to Seattle Times, Johnson is the first pitcher to win more than 200 games and save 150 games. He also became the only player in history with 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, 400 stolen bases and 250 home runs while paying four positions.
Following are Johnson’s career stats, as reported by AZCentral:
Major-league seasons: 22.
Career record: 303-166.
Complete games: 100.
Home runs allowed: 411.
Walks allowed: 1,497.
Batters faced: 17,067.
All-Star Games: 10.
Cy Young awards: 1999 (Seattle), 1999 (Arizona), 2000 (Arizona), 2001 (Arizona), 2002 (Arizona).
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