During his 22-year career, Randy Johnson was known as one of the most intimidating and intense characters in all of major league baseball.
The 6’10 left hander often appeared menacing both on and off the diamond, sometimes seeming just as unapproachable as he was unhittable.
Those days are in the rearview mirror now however, and Johnson is a more relaxed person on the eve of his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He seems at peace with where he is in his life, and what he accomplished during his stellar career. So much so, that he sees this honor as something that also belongs to the people who helped get him here.
“It’s not about me,” said Johnson.
“I feel like I had 22 years of an opportunity. And I feel like I didn’t let too much of it go by the wayside. It did take me a while to kind of become the pitcher that I was hoping I would be someday, because there were glimmers of it every step along the way, and it was just a matter of being consistent.
So I’ve had my opportunity to kind of bask in the sun or the glory or whatever, and now I think it’s really important to let the people, on the grandest stage of all, my friends that have come a long ways…and I don’t want to tell you too much of what I might be talking about (during the ceremony) but it will be about them. It really won’t be about me and I will have a few surprises tomorrow as well.”
As far as getting to this point, Johnson said he didn’t really think about the hall until the time came.
“I haven’t thought about until…you know obviously when you get closer there’s a little more buzz, but five years is a long time. In five years since I’ve retired, I’ve been to Africa twice, I’ve been on seven USO tours around the world visiting our troops and have stayed pretty busy. So that never really entered the picture until, obviously, we got a little bit closer.”
Johnson will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Sunday, July 26th, along side fellow pitchers Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, as well as second basemen Craig Biggio.
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