Randy Johnson’s Memories in The Big Apple


When Randy Johnson chose to come to the New York Yankees in 2005, a huge cheer came from most Yankees fans. The Big Unit, one of the pitchers who had frustrated and tormented the players and fans of the New York Yankees in 2001, chose to pitch for the New York Yankees over many other suitors. His response when asked why he chose the Yankees over multiple teams according to Mike Vornukov of NJ.com was (including the Boston Red Sox and former teammate Curt Schilling), “I wanted to be thrown into that fire…and I did. I had no remorse coming here. I enjoyed every moment of it.”

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Most fans do not remember his 34-19 record with the New York Yankees, which consisted of one good and one average season. The memory that sticks out to most fans is when he got into an altercation with a cameraman. This altercation happened prior to Randy Johnson throwing one pitch for the New York Yankees, and its very unfortunate that this is the first memory the comes to mind for Yankees fans.

However, this is not one of the top memories that come to mind for him when he thinks of his tenure with the Yankees. One that stands out to him is the friendship formed with Reggie Jackson. Johnson received a call from Jackson once the pitcher was accepted into the Hall of fame, and Jackson started the phone call with a classic Reggie Jackson remark. “‘Randy, how did you get more votes to the Hall of Fame than I did’,” Johnson remarked to laughter. “I mean, who does that? Friends do. And he’s the greatest. I love Reggie. I came to New York because I wanted to. I love New York. I didn’t pitch, maybe, as good as people wanted me to. No one has a higher bar standard than me.”

Another fond memory of his is when he was approached by Whitey Ford. The legendary pitcher came up to Johnson and asked him for an autograph. He signed the autograph, and got to have a conversation with the hall of fame pitcher.

It is unfortunate that some New York Yankees fans will only remember Randy Johnson for his cameraman run-in. But lets remember the Big Unit for being arguably the most dominating left handed pitcher to ever pitch in the MLB and one of the top 10 pitchers ever.