Archive for January, 2010

190 plunks – the Randy Johnson years

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Randy Johnson announced his retirement this week, ending his career with a total of 190 hit batters. And while it would have been nice to see him become the first modern era pitcher to crack the 200 plunk mark, it’s good to see him go out on a high note – and with a hit batter in his final pitching appearance.

In celebration of the Big Unit’s career in the plunkular arts, below are a selection of notable* facts and lists of his accomplishments. Out of respect for the national society for the protection of seagulls and pigeons, we won’t be mentioning the thing with the bird. If you’d like a complete list of everyone Randy Johnson ever hit by a pitch, you can find that here.

*-definitions of “notable” subject to interpretation. (“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. “)

  • Randy Johnson retired holding the career franchise record for most hit batters for both the Mariners and Diamondbacks. Only two other pitchers have done that – but one was Charlie Hough, who retired with the hit batter record for the Rangers and the Marlins – but the Marlins had only existed for 2 years at that point. The other was Tim Keefe, who retired in 1894 holding the record for both the Phillies and the New York Giants, but pitching records for hit batters were very poorly kept back then, so that one can’t be trusted.
  • Randy Johnson hit 3 batters on his birthday – Barry Bonds, Carney Lansford and Charlie O’Brien
  • He only plunked two pitchers – David Wells and Kevin Jarvis
  • With Johnson’s retirement, there is no longer any active pitcher who has plunked Pete Incaviglia, Mike Greenwell, Steve Balboni or Carney Lansford
  • Mike Greenwell is the only batter Randy Johnson ever plunked on the batter’s birthday – he hit Greenwell with a pitch on Greenwell’s 30th birthday.
  • Reed Johnson and Jim Leyritz are the only batters to be hit 4 times by Randy Johnson.
  • Candy Maldonado is the only batter named Candy ever plunked by Randy Johnson.
  • Randy Johnson won 303 games overall, but he won 78 games in which he hit at least one batter. The pitcher with next most wins in games in which Randy Johnson hit someone was Scott Kamieniecki, who won three such games. The following batters were plunked by Randy Johnson in games won by Scott Kamieniecki: Charlie Hayes, Jim Leyritz, Cal Ripken, Gerald Williams
  • Randy Johnson also lost 47 games in which he hit a batter, but Bobby Ayala was the only other pitcher to lose 3 games in which the Big Unit hit a batter. These guys got hit by Randy Johnson in games that Bobby Ayala took the loss for: Will Clark, Wilton Guerrero, Luis Polonia
  • Johnson only hit one current member of the 3000 hit club, Cal Ripken.
  • David Wells and Callix Crabbe are the only batters who have never been hit by anyone but Randy Johnson. Both were batting for the Padres when Johnson delivered there only career HBP. (Crabbe spent 2009 in the Mariners farm system, so he could still come back to the majors to be plunked by someone else.)
  • These batters were plunked by Randy Johnson in relief appearances:Mike Sweeney,
    Everth Cabrera. (Cabrera was plunk number 190, in Johnson’s final game)
  • Johnson hit 29 different batters a total of 34 times while Dan Wilson was his catcher, and hit 31 different batters a total of 33 times with Dave Valle catching.
  • Aramis Ramirez is the only batter to get hit by Randy Johnson before reaching age 21.

Obviously this is only a partial list of important facts about the career plunkings of Randy Johnson, so if there’s something you really need to know that I’ve left out, just ask in the comments, and I can expand this post.