Five-time Cy Young winner Randy Johnson, who won more than 300 games in his career, is retiring after 22 glorious seasons in Major League Baseball.The left-handed American, who was nicknamed The Big Unit, made the announcement on Tuesday.
The 46-year-old Johnson is a 10-time all-star who six months ago became the 24th pitcher in American baseball history to win 300 games.
“Getting the end result of the performance is what it was all about,” Johnson said. “There was a learning curve for me for awhile. I worked hard. I was a fierce competitor and I gave everything I had.”
Johnson won one World Series championship with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. He threw two career no-hitters, including a perfect game, and ranks second in career strikeouts.
The 6ft 10in Johnson finishes with a career record of 303-166 and 4,875 strikeouts.
Asked what his biggest career moment was, Johnson said it was playing in the World Series and sharing the co-MVP honours with teammate Curt Schilling.
“I did my part to get to the World Series that was my crowning achievement,” he said.
Only Roger Clemens has won more Cy Young awards (six) for the best pitcher in baseball.
“I wanted to go out on my terms,” Johnson said. “I definitely wanted to make the decision wholeheartedly and that I would stick to [retirement]…I didn’t want to make a hasty decision. I’m at peace with it.”
He captured his Cy Young Awards in 1995 with Seattle and from 1999-2002 in Arizona.
He compiled a 3.29 lifetime ERA with the Expos, Mariners, Astros, Diamondbacks, Yankees and Giants. His 4,875 strikeout total is second to Nolan Ryan who finished with 5,714.
“I never thought I was going to play this long,” Johnson added. “One thing I’ve always tried to tell the younger pitchers was how preparation and work ethic have to be in order to go out and compete every fifth day.
“If you want longevity, you have to stay healthy and do your work.”