Randy Johnson

By Matt Marlow

Life Brief

Randall David Johnson was born to Carol and Rollen Johnson on September 10, 1963 in Walnut Creek, California. He was the youngest of 6 children. When he was very small his family moved to Livermore, about 45 miles away. In the 6th grade he was already 6 ft. tall. In school Randy was a little bit of a trouble maker, often getting in trouble. He went to Livermore High school (the Cowboys), and he played basketball, tennis, and baseball. He had a great high school career and was selected in the 3rd round of the MLB draft, but he decided that he was going to college. He attended University of Southern California and had rough college career. "In his junior year he walked more batters than he struck out" (Bonner 19). But still, the Montreal Expos selected him in the 2nd round of the draft. He was about to become professional pitcher.

His career in the majors was great after getting traded from Montreal to Seattle. In Seattle he pitched for 9 seasons winning a CY Young, best pitcher award, and was a 5 time all-star. Then, after a falling out with the Mariners he went to Arizona Diamondbacks. In Arizona he did even better than in Seattle. In 8 seasons with Arizona he had 4 consecutive CY Youngs and was a 5 time all-star. He also played 2 seasons with the New York Yankees and 1 season with the San Francisco Giants, but he had no significant stats during these seasons.

He is married to Lisa Johnson, and they have 4 kids. Their 4 kids are Sammy (born 1994), Tanner (1996), Willow (1998, and Alexandria (1999). He also has a daughter from a previous relationship, Heather (1989). He is also a Christian. He has know taken on a new career as a photagrapher.

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Background Symbolism

If you are an athlete you know that you have to get stronger. How do you get stronger? You lift weights. Randy Johnson, a great athlete, had to lift to get stronger. Without lifting he probably never would have been able to throw his 100 mph fastball.

The weights also symbolise his will to work and become one of the greatest ever. In fact in the minors he had to do a workout program to add weight and muscle. "[The Expos had him do] a workout program to add weight and muscle. The work in the weight room paid off" (Bonner 21). A slacker would never have done this program, and the slacker would never had a Hall of Fame career.

Pick 3

One fact that I thought was interesting was that he is the 3rd tallest player to ever play in the MLB. Standing at 6'10" certainly caused him to have an advantage. It makes me wonder what he would've been like if he were shorter.

Another fact is that he won the Cy Young 4 consecutive years. He has 5 in total which makes him have the 2nd most CY Youngs (behind Roger Clemens with 6). This intriques me and shows how dominant of a pitcher he was.

The 3rd fact is, his moms nickname for him. "Despite Randy's size, his mother calls him Sweet Pea" (Bonner 16). This just makes me laugh. Being so big makes the person intimidating, but when his mother calls him Sweet Pea that factor goes away completely.


The biggest achievement Johnson has achieved is being one of the greatest pitchers of all time. In my opinion he is top ten easy. The author agrees with this. "Eventually he had become the most dominant pitcher in the game" (Bonner 10). He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015 to forever cement his legacy in baseball history.
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Randy Johnson struggled throughout his whole career with being wild. He always had trouble with staying in the strike zone. "In his junior year he walked more batters than he struck out" (Bonner 19). But eventually in Seattle he worked this accomplishment with help from his pitching coach and became amazing.


His Dad was a major figure in Randy Johnson's life. Randy's Dad helped Randy grow and mature as a baseball player and a person throughout his youth. When "Bud" Johnson died prematurely it took a huge toll on Randy. He even thought about quitting baseball. "Johnson's first reaction to his father's death was to quit baseball" (Bonner35). Luckily, he did not quit. His mom and girlfriend helped him come to that decision.


I kind of already mentioned this but he won 5 CY Youngs and was voted into the MLB HOF. Being voted into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor for a baseball player. Being this great of player calls for some regonization and he certainly got it.


Outside of baseball Johnson likes to photograph and play the drums. As a pitcher it was part of his routine on game day to play the drums for an hour or so. After his baseball career he picked up photography and has started making money taking photos.


The symbol I think represents him is a skyscraper. Not only is he tall, it is the first thing you notice on the field is Randy, just like a skyscraper. Also he totally dominates his competition just like the company, that owns the skyscraper, dominates the market. "Johnson became the toughest pitcher in the league to hit" (Bonner 34).
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Friend or Foe

I think me and Randy Johnson would be pretty good friends considering we both love baseball. Both me and love the game of baseball and our families. We could also find more similarities in our goals. We both strive to be the best and nothing less. I won't rest until that happens just like he did.

Most Like

Randy Johnson reminds me a lot of active MLB pitcher Chris Sale. The reasons for this are their throwing mechanics, body type, and their nicknames. Both Randy and Chris threw a low 3/4 arm slot. Basically they almost threw sidearm. Also both of them were long armed, long legged, skinnier guys. The last reason is their nicknames. Johnson's nickname is literally "The Bird", and Sale's nickname is "The Condor" which is a type of bird.

Altruist or Egotist

I would say that he is more of an altruist. One example is the championship he won. Only a team player can win a championship. Another reason is his care for his family. When his father died he was heartbroken. He rushed home and stayed with the family for a while.

The Mental Game

As a younger pitcher he had a weak mental game. Johnson was extremely sensitive about his height . "Opposing players tried to rattle him by calling him names like long-necked geek. If Randy let their taunts get to him, his pitching suffered" (Bonner 17). Eventually after college he finally got over the struggles of the mental game. Without doing this he probably wouldn't be as good as he was.


His stats, especially strikeouts are great. Some examples: Career Strikeouts 4875, Winning Percentage .646, Career ERA 3.29, and Innings 4135.1. As you can notice, he had more strikeouts than innings pitched. Thats just crazy! His stats back up my opinion on his career.