clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Randy Johnson elected to Hall of Fame

The greatest pitcher in Diamondbacks history is going to Cooperstown this summer. To no-one's surprise, Randy Johnson was overwhelmingly elected to the Hall of Fame today by the BBWAA.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Big Unit's credentials across his 22 seasons in the major leagues hardly need repeating, but let's just mention them anyway. You can start with his five Cy Young awards, and Johnson is also a ten-time All Star. His 303 career wins put him 22nd on the all-time list, and his 4,875 strikeouts are second, behind only Nolan Ryan; Randy also led the league in whiffs in nine different seasons. His K-rate of 10.6 per nine innings is the highest ever of any pitcher with a thousand innings of work, and RJ's career bWAR of 104.3 puts him in the top ten across every hurler in baseball history.

For the Diamondbacks, he played eight seasons and compiled a record of 118 wins and 62 losses in 232 regular-season starts (and one, quite memorable, relief appearance!). He'd probably have had more wins, except he played on the incredibly crappy 2004 team, where he lost 14 times despite a 2.60 ERA - nine of those losses came in quality starts by Johnson. Overall, his ERA was 2.83, which is astonishing given the offense-driven era in which he didn't just survive, but flourished - adjusted for league and park average, it's an ERA+ of 164. And, of course, in our run to the 2001 title, Johnson went 5-1 with a 1.19 ERA over 41.1 innings, including three wins in the World Series.

Johnson's selection wasn't quite unanimous, but then, nobody's ever has been. Still, it was overwhelming, and easily surpassed the 75% needed for qualification to Cooperstown. He was named on 534 of 549 ballots, which ranks as the eighth highest percentage ever across BBWAA voting. Here's the all-time top 10.

Player Year Voters Votes %
Tom Seaver 1992 430 425 98.84%
Nolan Ryan 1999 497 491 98.79%
Cal Ripken, Jr 2007 545 537 98.53%
Ty Cobb 1936 226 222 98.23%
George Brett 1999 497 488 98.19%
Hank Aaron 1982 415 406 97.83%
Tony Gwynn 2007 545 532 97.61%
Randy Johnson 2015 549 534 97.27%
Greg Maddux 2014 571 555 97.20%
Mike Schmidt 1995 460 444 96.52%

He wasn't the only one to be honored this year, and will be joined in a stacked class for this summer's inductions by Pedro Martinez (91.1%), John Smoltz (82.9%) and Craig Biggio (82.7%). There was less good news for the other players with Diamondbacks' connection listed on this year's ballot however. Alan Trammell (25.1%) and Curt Schilling (39.2%) once again came up well short, while first-time candidates Tony Clark (no votes) and Tom Gordon (two) failed to receive even the necessary five percent of votes needed to remain on the ballot next time, and so are one and done.

Johnson and the other inductees will go into Cooperstown during the Hall of Fame Weekend which takes place from July 24-27 at the facility in upstate New York.