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USC baseball great Randy Johnson elected to Hall of Fame

The towering left-hander becomes the third Trojan to be enshrined in Cooperstown

Randy Johnson
Randy Johnson throws a pitch during his USC days. (Photo/USC Athletics)

USC Trojan great Randy Johnson has become the third Trojan to be elected into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, it was announced on Tuesday morning.

Johnson, a left-handed pitcher, joins fellow Trojans New York Mets pitcher Tom Seaver and Toronto Blue Jays front office executive Pat Gillick in the Hall of Fame.

Johnson will enter the Hall with pitchers Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and infielder/outfielder Craig Biggio.

‘The Big Unit’

Johnson, who at 6-foot-10 was known as “the Big Unit,” had a superb 22-year career in the big leagues, being named to 10 All-Star teams, winning MVP of the World Series and five Cy Young Awards and winning 303 games pitching for six different teams. He is one of only five pitchers to hurl no-hitters in both leagues.

Johnson’s arsenal included a blazing fastball and a devastating slider, not to mention a fiery demeanor. He led his league in ERA four times and in strikeouts nine times, and currently stands as baseball’s all-time leader in strikeouts per nine innings, with 10.6.

Johnson was drafted in 1985 by the Montreal Expos in the second round of baseball’s First Year Player Draft. He was traded by the Expos to the Seattle Mariners in a five-player deal in May 1989. He went 7-9 with a 4.40 ERA in 22 starts for the Mariners in 1989, but hit his stride in 1990 as he won 14 games and made his first All-Star team.

World Series winner

Johnson’s career highlight came in 2001 when he and Curt Schilling led the Arizona Diamondbacks to the World Series title in seven games over the Yankees.

He finished his career with the San Francisco Giants in 2009, when he won his 300th game. He finished with a career 3.29 ERA with 4,875 strikeouts.

Johnson pitched for the Trojans from 1983-1985, with his best year coming as a senior. He led the team that year with 118.1 innings pitched, 99 strikeouts and six starts. The previous year, he led the team with 26 appearances and in 1983 he was the team leader with three saves.

Johnson will be inducted July 26 as part of the Hall’s Induction Weekend July 24-27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

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USC baseball great Randy Johnson elected to Hall of Fame

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