Big Unit, Wilson enter Mariners Hall of Fame

Big Unit, Wilson enter Mariners Hall of Fame

Credit: Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images

Former Mariner greats Dan Wilson (left) and Randy Johnson talk during a ceremony inducting them into the Seattle Mariners's Hall of Fame prior to the game against the Kansas City Royals at Safeco Field on July 28, 2012.


by Sportspress Northwest Staff


Posted on July 29, 2012 at 1:30 AM

Updated Sunday, Jul 29 at 6:43 AM

The Seattle Mariners Saturday welcomed the fifth and sixth members to the franchise's Hall of Fame, inducting star left hander Randy Johnson (1989-98) and his long-time battery mate Dan Wilson (1993-05). The pair were saluted in a ceremony at Safeco Field prior to the game against the Kansas City Royals.

Prior to his 1998 trade to the Houston Astros, Johnson won more games (130) than any player in franchise history. He ranks No. 2 in wins, first in shutouts (19) and first in strikeouts (2,162).Wilson, acquired in a 1994 trade with Cincinnati, caught many of Johnson's starts and finished his career in 2005 with the highest fielding percentage (.995) by a catcher in American League history. Career highlights with the Mariners by Johnson and Wilson.RANDY JOHNSON / 1989-98

The Mariners acquired the Big Unit in a trade from the Montreal Expos, along with Brian Holman and Gene Harris, May 25, 1989, in exchange for LHP Mark Langston and a player to be named later (Mike Campbell). Johnson's departure came July 31, 1998, when the Mariners sent him to the Houston Astros for RHP Freddy Garcia, INF Carlos Guillen and a player to be named later. On Oct. 1, the Astros sent the Mariners LHP John Halama to complete the trade.

On the day of Johnson's acquisition, former Mariner Jim Presley, lamenting the loss of Langston, called it “the saddest day in Mariner history.”

Johnson left as the most dominating pitcher in franchise history, and its career leader in victories and strikeouts. Between 1995 and 1997, especially, when Johnson became the first Mariner to win a Cy Young Award and the first to win 20 games, every one of his outings was a must-see.

Ten-to-15 strikeout performances and low-hit games became routine. By 1998, and after a half-decade of dazzling pitching, the Mariners front office thought it had seen the best the temperamental, intimidating Johnson had to offer, and decided not to offer him a contract extension, figuring a long-term investment into a 34-year-old power pitcher with a sore back didn’t make sense.

What the Mariners didn’t know was that Johnson was about to embark on the second half of his career – the best half. Johnson pitched through the 2009 season, retiring at 46 after the 2009 season with a 303-166 record, 4,875 strikeouts (most by a left hander), five Cy Young awards, and a 2001 World Series co-MVP trophy.Career Highlights (Mariners)

  • Won 130 games in 10 seasons, most in franchise history at the time of his trade to the Astros.
  • Struck out 2,162 batters, top mark in franchise history, and nearly 900 more than No. 2 Jamie Moyer.
  • Pitched 19 complete games, 10 more than the No. 2 mark in franchise history (by Mark Langston).
  • Pitched 51 complete games, second-highest total in franchise history behind Mike Moore’s 56.
  • Posted a .637 winning percentage (130-74), second-best mark in franchise history (minimum 50 decisions) behind Paul Abbott’s .679.
  • Named to the American League All-Star team five times – in 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996.
  • Won the 1995 American League Cy Young Award: 18-2 with a 2.48 ERA.
  • Led the American League in strikeouts four times – in 1992 (241), 1993 (308), 1994 (204), 1995 (294) and 1997 (291).
  • Became the first Mariner to win 20 games when he went 20-4 in 1997.
  • Named American League Pitcher of the Month for June, 1990.
  • Named American League Pitcher of the Week four times, May 28, 1990, May 30, 1994, Sept. 24, 1995 and June 9, 1997.
  • Pitched the first no-hitter in franchise history June 2, 1990, defeating the Detroit Tigers 2-0 in the Kingdome.
  • Struck out 16 or more batters in a game five times, including 19 June 24, 1997, against Oakland, and 19 again Aug. 8, 1997 vs. the Chicago White Sox.
  • Pitched three complete-game one-hitters and two two-hitters.
  • Had a 16-game winning streak from Aug. 11, 1995 to May 2, 1997.
  • Defeated the California Angels 9-1 Oct. 2, 1995, in a rare one-game playoff to decide the AL West title, sending the Mariners to the postseason for the first time in franchise history.
  • Named Mariners’ Pitcher of the Year by the Seattle chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America in 1993, 1995 and 1997.
  • Selected Sports Star of the Year by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 1993.
  • Ranked No. 5 on the list of 100 greatest athletes in state sports history by “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists” in 2009.
Highlights / Post-Mariners

  • Won four consecutive Cy Young Awards, in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, joining Gaylord Perry and Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers to win a Cy Young Award in each league.
  • Had the loss in four consecutive shutouts of Arizona from June 25-July 10, 1999, to tie a major league record for a starter. In those four, Arizona was no-hit by the Cardinals Jose Jimenez, followed by a one-hitter, two-hitter and three-hitter. During the stretch, Johnson posted a 1.41 ERA, allowing five runs.
  • In 1999, set a major league record with 31 games of 10+ strikeouts and no walks.
  • Recorded the first shutout at Safeco Field on July 20, 1999, beating the Mariners 6-0.
  • Reached 300K mark faster than any hurler in history, fanning the Marlins’ Kevin Millar Aug. 26, 1999, in his 29th start, two starts quicker than any other pitcher. Became the first pitcher to win five postseason games (2001).
  • Named co-Most Valuable Player of the 2001 World Series with Curt Schilling.
  • Led the major leagues in strikeouts five consecutive times, from 1999 through 2004.
  • Won the pitching Triple Crown in 2002, leading the National League with 24 wins, 324 strikeouts and a 2.32 ERA.
  • Set a major league record with five consecutive seasons of 300+ strikeouts.
  • In 2001, posted a strikeouts per nine inning ratio of 13.4, best in major league history.
  • Led the National League in ERA three times – 1999 (2.48), 2001 (2.49) and 2002 (2.32).
  • Struck out 20 Cincinnati Reds May 8, 2001, to join Roger Clemens (twice) and Kerry Wood as the only members of the 20K club.
  • On July 19, 2001, at San Diego, struck out 16 of 23 batters he faced in a rare relief appearance to set a major league record for strikeouts by a reliever. Walter Johnson had 15 in 11.1 innings in 1913.
  • Became, at age 39 in 2003, the oldest pitcher in history to hit his first home run, eclipsing Bill McGhee of the Philadelphia A’s, who went deep for first time on Sept. 3, 1944 at age 38 years, 364 days.
  • Won 16 games for the 2004 111-loss Diamondbacks, the most wins ever for a pitcher on a team losing more than 110 games.
  • Became the oldest pitcher in history to throw a perfect game at 40 years, 251 days at Atlanta May 18, 2004 (also joined Jim Bunning, Hideo Nomo, Cy Young and Nolan Ryan as the only men to throw a no-hitter in each league).
  • Between May 18-23, 2004, retired 39 batters in a row, two shy of the MLB record set in 1972 by the Giants’ Jim Barr and the third-longest streak in history, falling an out shy of Tom Browning’s 40 in a row in 1988.
  • Became the fourth member of the 4,000 K club, and also became the quickest to whiff 4,000 hitters, needing 607.1 fewer innings than Nolan Ryan, 900 fewer than Roger Clemens and 1,750 fewer than Steve Carlton.
  • Reached 4,500 career strikeouts Aug. 15, 2006.
  • Won the 300th game of his major league career June 4, 2009, defeating the Washington Nationals 5-1.
Upon his retirement, Johnson said, "It's all been a bit of a whirlwind. I never really got caught up in what I did. I never really dwelled on my achievements. They're nice. Maybe now I'll be able to reflect on them."DAN WILSON / 1994-05

Wilson arrived in Seattle Nov. 3, 1993 along with RHP Bobby Ayala from Cincinnati in a deal that sent 2B Bret Boone and LHP Erik Hanson to the Reds.Wilson played 12 seasons with Seattle, finishing with 1,251 games, 1,071 hits, 88 home runs, 508 RBIs, a .262 batting average and a .693 OPS.Wilson spent most of his last season (2005) rehabilitating a knee injury. The Mariners re-activated him Sept. 30 so he could catch one final inning with Jamie Moyer, with whom he had formed a Seattle battery 190 times.When Wilson retired, he had a .995 fielding percentage, the highest by a catcher in American League history. He also played in more games as a catcher (1,281) than any backstop in franchise history.

Career Highlights (Mariners)

  • Hit three home runs at Detroit April 11, 1996, becoming the fifth Mariner to hit three homers in a game.
  • Produced a career-high five hits at Minnesota June 11, 1996.
  • Named to 1996 American League All-Star team (only All-Star appearance) when he had the best season by a catcher in franchise history, setting club marks for catchers in batting average (.285), home runs (18) and RBIs (83).
  • Had two career inside-the-park home runs (first one Sept. 10, 1997), including a grand slam May 3, 1998 at the Kingdome (seventh by a catcher in major league history).
  • Career-high six RBIs July 17, 1998 at Kansas City.
  • Aug. 1, 1999, recorded the Mariners' first-ever straight steal of home (vs. Baltimore).
  • Had two hits in the seventh inning of a July 8, 2001 game at Los Angeles.
  • Caught 30 postseason games for the Mariners, 16 in the Division Series and 14 in the ALCS; single in Game 6 of the 2001 ALCS at New York snapped an 0-for-42 postseason slump.
Previous Mariners Hall of Fame Inductees

1997June 14Alvin DavisDavis played eight seasons in Seattle, hit 160 home runs, was the first Mariner to win a major postseason award (1984 ROY) and was team MVP three times
2000May 7Dave NiehausThe club's lead announcer since its inception in 1977, Niehaus entertained hundreds of thousands of fans with his unique, informative broadcast style
2004Aug. 24Jay BuhnerPlayed 13 1/2 seasons, smacked 307 home runs, played Gold Glove defense in right field and helped make bald heads popular throughout the Northwest
2006June 2Edgar MartinezPlayed his entire 18-year career in Seattle, delivered the biggest hit in franchise history, retired as the most popular athlete in Seattle sports history

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