The hour-long show is narrated by Metallica lead singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer James Hetfield and includes interviews with Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez and Nolan Ryan, Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly, former Dbacks teammates Luis Gonzalez, Mark Grace and Curt Schilling, and Rush lead singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Geddy Lee. The program aims to shed light both on Johnson's playing career and his life after baseball, with his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame now less than two weeks away, on July 26. Here are some quotes and clips from the show,
Johnson: "Not everybody is wired the same way. There [were] times when I'd stare down a hitter, intimidate them, yeah, absolutely. I loved it, I'm not going to deny that. I loved that one-on-one. I don't regret it, it's just the way I performed and I performed better that way, having a little bit of an edge to me.
On being elected to the Hall of Fame: "[It's] not something I ever thought about when I played baseball, [it's] nothing I ever played for. I don't think anybody ever really plays for that or anything else other than the love of the game. But when I got the phone call, I was just amazed, in awe. There's so many great players that have played this game. Out of 18,000 people-plus that have played the game, 200-something in the Hall of Fame, and I'm part of that fraternity, I'm extremely humbled. It was the greatest moment of my career."
On his father's passing: "Losing my dad on Christmas Day in 1992 had the most impact of my career. It took me a while to really recover from that. He's the one that instilled in me not to be complacent with your success, and so, I never was, I moved on. But that was really what defined my career was never being content with anything and always trying to do better and be better, and he just really instilled that in me. After I was able to get my feet back under me again, there was nothing that was gonna hold me back."
Curt Schilling on Johnson's demeanor: "He was very raw. It wasn't nice, and it was palpable. I think that made hitters uncomfortable, I think he was okay with that."
Current D-backs color commentator, and then his manager, Bob Brenly on the Big Unit's performance during the 2001 World Series:"I think he relished the idea that he was the guys, he was the man that we needed to win that World Series. Randy recognized in his own mind that if we were going to have success, he had to be ‘The Big Unit... I think any time somebody goes above and beyond what's expected and then has success doing it, that's what cements you in the lore of baseball.
Brenly on Johnson post-retirement: "I don't really recognize this guy because the guy that I dealt with every fifth day, you'd never have known that he could smile. You'd never know that he could laugh. I don't know who that guy was. He's a delightful guy now that he's found other avenues to channel his energies, and I think he did what he had to do as a player. He did what he felt he had to do to be at his best every fifth day and I will never begrudge that, but boy, it would've been a lot more fun to have the guy we know now those other four days between starts."
[Perhaps also worth a look, today at 4pm, they have Buck Showalter, A Life in Baseball, taking a look at the man who was the Arizona Diamondbacks' original manager, taking them to their first National League West title in 1999, as part of his time at the helm from 1998-2000]