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
- Randy Johnson hit the opposing 2nd Baseman 31 times, but only two of them were named Pat. None were named Craig Biggio: Fernando Vina (2), Damion Easley (2), Terry Shumpert (2), Wilton Guerrero, Eric Young, Adam Kennedy, Al Newman, Alex Cora, Carlos Baerga, Chad Meyers, Chase Utley, Chuck Knoblauch, Howie Kendrick, Jerry Browne, Jose Lopez, Jose Offerman, Luis Alicea, Mark McLemore, Mike Benjamin, Nick Green, Pat Kelly, Pat Meares, Ray Durham, Rico Rossy, Roberto Alomar, Rod Correia, Scott Brosius, Scott Fletcher
- 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 is the only batter named Johnson ever plunked by Randy Johnson, and also the only player to score 4 runs after reaching base on Big Unit plunks. In all, 52 of the batters (or their pinch runners) came around to score after being plunked by Randy Johnson: Reed Johnson (4), Darin Erstad (2), Jim Leyritz (2), Pat Listach, Luis Matos, Chad Meyers, David Newhan, Charlie O’Brien, Corey Patterson, Ben Petrick, Juan Pierre, Kevin Reimer, Richie Sexson, Mike Simms, Chase Utley, Fernando Vina, Felix Fermin, Mike Gallego, Joey Gathright, Leo Gomez, Rene Gonzales, Craig Grebeck, Charlie Hayes, Tim Hulett, Kevin Jarvis, Roberto Alomar, Steve Balboni, Albert Belle, Marvin Benard, Mike Benjamin, Glenn Braggs, Scott Brosius, Jerry Browne, Jeromy Burnitz, Mike Camer
on, Joe Carter, Brady Clark, Alex Cora, Carl Crawford, Brian Downing, J.D. Drew, Damion Easley, Kevin Elster, Wally Joyner, Roberto Kelly,
Adam Kennedy, Chuck Knoblauch
- Reed Johnson and Jim Leyritz are the only batters to be hit 4 times by Randy Johnson.
- Randy Johnson hit 8 different batters named Mike, a total of 10 times. No other first name collected as many plunks from him: Mike Kinkade (3), Mike Macfarlane, Mike Simms, Mike Sweeney, Mike Benjamin, Mike Cameron, Mike Gallego, Mike Greenwell (Johnson hit two Mikes on the Red Sox and two Mikes on the Royals, but never hit two players with the same first name on any other team)
- Candy Maldonado is the only batter named Candy ever plunked by Randy Johnson.
- Randy Johnson never hit a batter named Randy, but he did hit three batters in front of home plate umpire Randy Marsh: Geoff Jenkins, Jeromy Burnitz, Barry Bonds
- 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
- Randy Johnson hit 5 batters in games in which he had 15 or more strikeouts: Scott Brosius,
Nomar Garciaparra, Jim Leyritz, Rico Rossy, Mo Vaughn
- Johnson only hit one current member of the 3000 hit club, Cal Ripken.
- The following players were hit by a Randy Johnson pitch and have over 100 career HBPs. (Johnson never hit anyone who has broken the 200 plunk barrier so far)
Andres Galarraga -177
Jason Giambi -164
Fernando Vina (twice) – 157
Brady Anderson -154
Chuck Knoblauch -139
Larry Walker (3 times) – 138
Damion Easley (3 times) – 132
Scott Rolen (twice) – 112
Luis Gonzalez -111
Mo Vaughn (3 times) – 108
Chase Utley -107
Barry Bonds (twice) – 106
- 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.)
- Johnson hit the Padres more often than any other team – the following batters were hit by Randy Johnson while batting for San Diego:
Adrian Gonzalez (2), Justin Huber, Kevin Jarvis, Bubba Trammell, Ramon Vazquez, David Wells, Rondell White, Everth Cabrera, Brian Buchanan, Sean Burroughs, Mike Cameron, Callix Crabbe
- The following batters have been hit by a Randy Johnson pitch while Benito Santiago was the runner on 2nd base: Jeff Blauser, Reggie Sanders, J.T. Snow
- These batters were plunked by Randy Johnson in relief appearances:Mike Sweeney,
Everth Cabrera. (Cabrera was plunk number 190, in Johnson’s final game)
- These batters were hit by Randy Johnson with the bases loaded: Brandon Larson, Charlie Hayes, Junior Ortiz, Mike Kinkade, Ruben Mateo
- 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.
- Randy Johnson hit 4 different batters with last names at least 10 letters long, for a total of 5 plunks: Nomar Garciaparra, Mike Macfarlane, Pete Incaviglia (twice), Jim Eisenreich
- The following batters were hit by Randy Johnson while batting left handed with 2 outs in a day game: Luis Gonzalez, Mark Grace, Mike Greenwell, Shawn Green, John Olerud, Dave Roberts
- Aramis Ramirez is the only batter to get hit by Randy Johnson before reaching age 21.
- The following players were hit by Randy Johnson after they turned 40: Barry Bonds, Brian Downing, Gary Gaetti, Andres Galarraga, David Wells
- The following players were hit by Randy Johnson while they were 31 years old (the most common age of his targets): Rene Gonzales (three times while 31), Tim Hulett, Kevin Jarvis, Jim Leyritz, Candy Maldonado, Al Newman, John Russell, Mike Simms, Shannon Stewart, Fernando Vina, Mitch Webster, Rondell White, Eric Young, Luis Alicea, Brady Clark, Darnell Coles, Darin Erstad, Jason Giambi
- These batters were plunked by Randy Johnson after he turned 40:
Reed Johnson (4), Barry Bonds (2), Alex Cora (2), Adrian Gonzalez (2), Luis Gonzalez, Nick Green, Jack Hannahan, Justin Huber, Aubrey Huff, Brandon Inge, Geoff Jenkins, Chris Coste, Callix Crabbe, Carl Crawford, Joe Crede, David DeJesus, Damion Easley, Darin Erstad, Joey Gathright, Jeromy Burnitz, Sean Burroughs, Mike Cameron, Brady Clark, Everth Cabrera, Brad Ausmus, Howie Kendrick, Adam Kennedy, Derrek Lee, Jose Lopez, Luis Matos, David Newhan, Josh Phelps, Ian Stewart, Shannon Stewart, Charles Thomas, Chase Utley, Larry Walker, David Wells, Brad Wilkerson
- These batters were plunked by Randy Johnson while he was 28 (his plunkiest year): Rene Gonzales (3 time
s), Jim Leyritz (twice), Pat Listach, Candy Maldonado, Al Newman, John Russell, Terry Shumpert, Lee Stevens, Craig Grebeck, Charlie Hayes, Pat Kelly, Roberto Kelly, Mark Lewis, Roberto Alomar, Sandy Alomar, Joe Carter
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.