Monday, March 23, 2015

Randy Johnson Batting

I should have saved that Randy Johnson 1992 Stadium Club card from last week until I got through the rest of his cards I own.

1995 Collector’s Choice Special Edition
You don't see a lot of cards featuring pitchers at the plate. Especially American League pitchers. What is going on here. It appears that Johnson was attempting to bunt. If you look closely, behind the second O in his name at the bottom of the card, the baseball seems to be resting on home plate. I'm guessing that the photographer caught the ball just before it bounced. More interesting is that Johnson did not have an official at bat in either 1994 (when this photo was presumably taken) or in 1995. This must have been a spring training game.

1996 SP
 You also don't see many cards featuring a pitcher on base. But here's Randy Johnson on 1st base despite not having any official at bats in 1995 or 1996. Another spring training photo? Was Randy used as a pinch runner?

1999 Upper Deck #301
 In 1999, Johnson was with the D-Backs so no more designated hitter to hide behind. He doesn't look to enthusiastic here but he had 97 at bats in 1999, with 12 hits, including 4 doubles.

2001 Upper Deck #183
 Since 2001 Series 1 Upper Deck came out in November 2002 (remember when you could start collecting next year's baseball cards before Thanksgiving?), this is most likely a photo from the 2000 season. It looks like he got a good swing but the look of dismay on his face suggests a poor result. While winning his 3rd Cy Young Award, Randy hit .157 with 13 hits, 2 doubles and 8 rbis. Not a bad performance for a pitcher.

2004 Topps #450
 According to this card, Randy Johnson is the tallest player to ever hit a home run. Randy has exactly one home run in his career and that was in 2003. Johnson is no longer the tallest player to hit a home run. In 2004, 6'11 pitcher Jon Rauch, then with the Expos, hit a home run. Rauch has 2 hits in his 11-year career. More recently,  Chris Young, another 6'10" pitcher, hit a home run for the Padres in 2008. Young is now in the American League and Rauch is a relieve, so it may be awhile before we see another real tall home run hitter.

2008 Topps #396
 After two years with the Yankees, Johnson was back in the National league in 2007. In 2007 he only had 1 hit and only 15 at bats. I guess the red bat didn't help. 2008 was a bit better with 7 hits. For his career, Johnson hit for a .125 average with 625 at bats, 78 hits, 14 doubles and 1 home run. He walked 19 times and struck out 296 times.


Ryan G said...

I really like cards of pitchers batting. Or batters pitching. Regardless, I think Randy Johnson has so many doubles because it only takes him about 4 steps to get there...

Nice post!

night owl said...

I don't remember being able to collect the next year's cards in November at all. That must've been during the dead period when I didn't collect.