IT’S not often that athletes choose to switch from working in front of the camera to behind it.
But that’s exactly the path taken by MLB Hall of Famer pitcher Randy Johnson.
Born in 1963, Johnson later played for California’s Livermore High School before being drafted in the fourth round of the 1982 MLB Draft by the Atlanta Braves.
However, instead of going straight to the pros, the leftist accepted a full scholarship to study baseball and basketball at the University of Southern California.
Three years later, Johnson was drafted again, this time in the second round of the Montreal Expos.
It was another three years before Johnson’s MLB debut took place. At that point he set a league record as the tallest player in his history – 6ft 10 tall, according to his Hall of Fame bio.
His pro career got off to a slow start with just four appearances at the 1988 and 1989 Expos before joining the Seattle Mariners.
It was here that his 22-year Hall of Famer-worthy career began, and he attributes much of his success to a conversation with two pitching legends.
While appearing on The Rich Eisen Show, Johnson explained how he had the opportunity to speak with Tom House and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan during his time with the Mariners.
He said: “Tom House was a former USC Trojan, I think he took the time to obviously see some mechanical flaws that I still had that I had in high school, in college, in four years in the Minor leagues hadn’t been fixed or even the first few years in Montreal or in Seattle.
“And it was a little little thing they wanted to show me when Nolan threw a bullpen session at Kingdome and it just fell on the ball of your foot, your landing leg.”
This adjustment brought an element of consistency that was previously lacking and allowed Johnson to thrive.
He then spent ten seasons in Seattle, where he played 130 games and reached five All-Star Games.
In 1998, the now 34-year-old Johnson was traded again, this time southbound to the Houston Astros.
His time at the Lone Star State didn’t last long, however, and he signed for the Arizona Diamondbacks the following season.
During his first stint in Arizona, Johnson reached five All-Star games in six seasons, won the 2001 World Series and had a perfect game in 2004.
That was only the seventeenth time in league history, about which he said: “Not bad at 40.”
In 2005, Johnson was traded for the third time in his career.
He spent the 2005 and 2006 seasons wearing the New York Yankees’ famous pinstripes before returning to Arizona for another two seasons.
In 2009, at the age of 45, Johnson ended his career with a single season at home in California with the San Francisco Giants.
He retired with the second most strikeouts in MLB history — behind a certain Nolan Ryan.
After Johnson hung up his gauntlet, he finally had the time to pursue another passion in his life.
He told Rich Eisen, “Before baseball became a real thing in my life, I went to USC and majored in photojournalism.
“And that’s how my photography started. And then of course four years in the minor leagues and 22 years in the major leagues – there wasn’t much time for photography.
“When I retired in 2009, I started dusting off camera gear, relearning how to use a camera, and since then I’ve taken numerous USO tours to support our men and women around the world.
“And then a lot of trips and concerts in general, Africa and stuff like that.”
Johnson is making the most of this newfound free time, regularly posting new shots to his Instagram page and website.
Some of those snaps have even found their way into “releases like Rolling Stone, Spin and Metal Hammer,” according to his website.
“My concert photography has even found its way into tour programs, posters, books and websites.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7730592/randy-johnson-mlb-hall-of-fame-photography/ I was a pitcher in the MLB Hall of Fame – now I shoot NFL games and people hardly recognize me