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Randy Johnson

Real name:
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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- Montreal Expos (1988-1989)
- Seattle Mariners (1989-1998)
- Houston Astros (1998)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (1999-2004, 2007-present)
- New York Yankees (2005-2006)

Randall David Johnson (born September 10, 1963), nicknamed "the Big Unit", is a lefthanded American starting pitcher who currently plays for Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks.

For all active pitchers through the 2007 season, Johnson is first in strikeouts per nine innings pitched (10.78 -- which is also first for all pitchers in history) and hit batsmen (182 -- fourth all-time), second in strikeouts (4,616 -- third all-time) and hits allowed per nine innings pitched (7.14), second in shutouts (37), fourth in wins (284), sixth in ERA (3.22) and wild pitches (101), and seventh in won-lost percentage (.654). His 4,616 strikeouts are also first all-time among lefthanded pitchers.

Johnson signed one of the largest contracts to that date in the off-season, inking a $53-million, four-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks; a second-year and relatively inexperienced franchise. It turned out to be one of the best free agent signings in baseball history, as Johnson won the NL Cy Young Award in each of the four seasons covered by the contract.

Johnson finished 2000 with 19 wins, 347 strikeouts and a 2.64 ERA, and won his second NL Cy Young Award. Just as importantly for the Diamondbacks' future, the team acquired Curt Schilling from the Philadelphia Phillies in July 2000, giving Arizona the most feared power pitching duo in the sport.

Johnson struck out 20 batters in a game on May 8, 2001 against the Cincinnati Reds. Johnson recorded all 20 strikeouts in the first nine innings, but because the game went into extra innings, it was not categorized by MLB as an "official" 20-strikeout game (Tom Cheney's 16-inning, 21-strikeout game is also listed separately). Baseball has since reversed itself on the game, and now lists Johnson with Roger Clemens (twice) and Kerry Wood as the only pitchers to strike out 20 batters in nine innings."Bird Beanball"

He finished the 2004 season with a 16-14 record, but had a far better season than his won-lost total indicated; the D-Backs scored two or fewer runs in 17 of his 35 starts that season. Johnson led the major leagues in strikeouts (with 290). In the games where Arizona scored three or more runs, Johnson was 13-2. As his team only won 51 games that year, his ratio of winning 31.3% of his team's games was the highest for any starting pitcher since Steve Carlton in 1972 (who won 27 of the Phillies 59 wins for an all-time record ratio of 45.8%). He finished second to Roger Clemens in that year's Cy Young Award balloting. Johnson was unhappy with the D-Backs offense, and demanded a trade.

In 2005, The Sporting News published an update of their 1999 book Baseball's 100 Greatest Players. Johnson did not make the original edition, but for the 2005 update, with his career totals considerably higher and his 2001 World Championship season taken into account, he was ranked at Number 60.

Johnson has four children with his wife Lisa: Samantha (born 28 December 1994), Tanner (born 5 April 1996), Willow (born 23 April 1998), and Alexandria (born 4 December 1999).

On March 28, 2006, the New York Daily News revealed that Johnson has a 16-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, Heather Roszell (born 4 September 1989), living in Langley, Washington.


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