The Big Unit will soon have a big plaque among the hallowed halls in Cooperstown, New York as it was announced early Tuesday afternoon Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio will be enshrined July 25th as the 2015 class.
The five-time Cy Young Award winner (four with Arizona) ranks second on the all-time Major League strikeout list with 4,875. His resume also includes 303 wins, 10 All-Star appearances, a perfect game and a World Series Championship with the Diamondbacks in 2001 where he was named the Series’ co-MVP.
He held a conference call with national writers before taking the podium at Chase Field.
“It’s not something, since I’ve retired, I’ve thought about much,” Johnson thoughtfully explained regarding the HOF. “I’ve been staying busy and a little removed from the game by choice. Now is the opportunity to have a little time by myself and travel with my family. For me it’s a little uncomfortable sitting here and talking about the hall of fame. I’m humbled and proud. I honestly didn’t think about it a lot.”
Johnson certainly didn’t sound uncomfortable during the 45-minute question-and-answer session where the introspective 6’10 gangly lefty measured his accomplishments during his 21-year, six-team career filled with many highs and a fair share of speed bumps along the way.
“I got the call and I’m so appreciative and honored,” he said. “I never joined a fraternity in college and now I’m a part of one of the coolest ones in the world.”
He was also asked to describe his time playing in Arizona with the young D-backs.
“The time that I played here…was career-changing,” said Johnson who still calls the Valley home. “Jerry Colangelo was knocking on my door saying, ‘you could change the credibility of this team.’ From 1999-2004…hands down there’s no four years that match anywhere else. I really enjoyed playing here in Arizona.”
The club also announced Johnson has joined the staff in the role of Special Assistant to team President and CEO Derrick Hall. He will work with and advise in the development of minor league pitchers within the organization and joked he will get to know where fellow assistant Luis Gonzalez likes his coffee and car parked.
Arizona plans to retire Johnson’s #51 this year.