Drafted in the second round of the 1985 MLB Draft from the University of Southern California, Johnson made his debut in 1988 as a member of the Montreal Expos. His tenure in Montreal was short, and in 1990 he was traded to the Seattle Mariners. In Seattle, Johnson emerged as one of the best pitchers in baseball.
In 1993, after a three year stretch of erratic appearances and brief glimpses of dominance, Johnson found his groove. He earned the second of his 10 All-Star Game appearances and recorded the first of his six 300-plus strikeout seasons.
After finishing second in the voting for the 1993 Cy Young Award, given to the best pitcher in the league, Johnson dominated the American League in 1995. He finished the season with an 18-2 record and a 2.48 earned run average, making him the runaway winner of the Cy Young. The Mariners utilized Johnson’s versatility as both a starter and an emergency reliever in the 1995 American League Division Series, knocking off the New York Yankees before falling in the American League Championship Series.
Before retiring in 2009 as a member of the San Francisco Giants, Johnson had collected numerous honors and milestones that many pitchers would be envious of. During his career, he played for six teams (Montreal Expos, Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Yankees and San Francisco) and won five Cy Young Awards, including four consecutive awards from 1998-2002. He also won the pitching Triple Crown in 2002 (leading the league in wins, earned run average, and strikeouts). Johnson became the 24th pitcher to eclipse 300 career wins and is second all-time only to Nolan Ryan with 4,875 career strikeouts. In 2001, he was named The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year and won the Babe Ruth Award.
Johnson also had several single game feats that few have been able to accomplish. In 2001, he struck out 20 batters in a nine-inning game and in 1990, Johnson threw a no-hitter. Most notably, in 2004, Johnson became the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game.
His unique appearance and personality earned Johnson roles in several popular television shows, movies and commercials. He has guest starred on "The Simpsons," appeared as himself in the 1994 movie "Little Big League" and been featured in commercials for Right Guard, Nike and Geico.
Johnson’s passion for music, specifically rock ‘n’ roll, and photography has transformed him into an aspiring rock photographer. He climbs into the photography pits with the other photographers and captures the create images on stage and in the crowd. He has shot such bands as Iron Maiden, Metallica and Nirvana.
Off of the diamond, Johnson has used his status as one of baseball’s great players for good causes. He has personally contributed more than $300,000 to various organizations and charities throughout his career. He became involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 1992, when he co-hosted a celebrity golf tournament with former Mariners teammate Jay Buhner. Since 1993, he has raised over $1 million through his fundraising efforts for Cystic Fibrosis and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Johnson has also worked with ChildHaven, an organization aimed to support children who are abused or neglected, and served as the chair for K for Kids while a member of the Mariners to help raise money for the local Boys and Girls Club. In Arizona, he worked closely with Strikeout Homelessness.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is honored to welcome Randy Johnson as our keynote guest for the 2018 Hutch Award Luncheon.