Monday, November 21, 2011

Movember - Token American Style - NL West

For background on Movember see my original post.
Support the cause - donate to Steve, and the UWO Geography Gentlemen!
Be sure to check out Lindsay's Movember blog!

Both players featured in my previous Movember posts have been inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  My moustache pick for the NL West is a recent retiree from professional baseball (January 5, 2010) and so won't be eligible for induction until 2015.  I suspect Summer 2015, or shortly thereafter, will see the arrival of Randy Johnson in Cooperstown, New York - along with his moustache and his mullet.

Randy "Big Unit" Johnson
Johnson has a staggering list of accomplishments that stack up nicely next to his lanky 6-foot-10-inch frame.  This south paw was known for his dominate fastball and his self-nicknamed "Mr. Snappy" sliders.  His pitches regularly approached, and occasionally exceeded, 100 miles per hour (160 km/h for my Canadian friends) in his prime.  

These skills earned him five Cy Young Awards (1995, 1999-2002), 10 All-Star appearances, and a World Series co-MVP (with Curt Schilling, 2001).  Johnson lead the league in strikeouts nine times, ERA four times, holds the record for most strikeouts in a relief appearance, and struck out 20 batters on May 8, 2001 against the Cincinnati Reds.

There are several milestones every pitcher strives to reach during his career and Randy Johnson hit all of them.  He collected his 300th win in a 5 - 1 victory against the Washington Nationals on June 4, 2009.  He struck out 4,875 batters - second most of all-time, trailing only Nolan Ryan.  Johnson pitched a no-hitter for Seattle on June 2, 1990 and the illusive perfect game for the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 18, 2004 - the oldest pitcher to do so in major-league history.  With these stats it is not surprising that Randy Johnson has defeated every major-league team at least once, and was named to the Sports Illustrated MLB All-Decade Team in 2009.
While Randy Johnson's 'stache may yet to grace the plaque gallery in the Hall of Fame, his skills on the mound and his fabulous facial hair has earned him a spot in my Movember Hall of Fame.

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