Following one of the most dominant pitching careers in Major League Baseball, former Indianapolis Indians standout, Randy Johnson, has been named to the 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame player ballot.
Monday’s ballot was announced in conjunction with the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and the results of the writers’ vote will be revealed Jan. 6 on MLB Network and MLB.com.
If elected, Johnson will become just the 13th former Tribe player enshrined in the Cooperstown and first on the Hall of Fame’s player ballot since Harmon Killebrew in 1984.
Deemed “The Big Unit” during his career, Johnson offers a strong case for unanimous election to the Hall of Fame with his five Cy Young Awards, 10 All-Star selections, four ERA titles and nine strikeout crowns. The left-hander concluded his illustrious, 22-year career as one of only two pitchers in baseball history to post four consecutive Cy Young Award seasons – matching Greg Maddux’s run from 1992-95 – ranked second in total Cy Young Awards behind only Roger Clemens’ seven accolades and as one of just nine hurlers to be featured in both the 300-win and 3,000-strikeout clubs.
Johnson debuted with the Tribe’s parent affiliate of Montreal in 1988-89 before splitting his career between Seattle (10 years), Arizona (8), the New York Yankees (2), Houston (1) and San Francisco (1). He tossed two no-hitters during his big league tenure, including the 17th perfect game in MLB history (May 18, 2004 vs. ATL), won a World Series title as the Fall Classic’s co-MVP with Arizona in 2001 and became just the second National League player to win the coveted pitching triple crown award after leading the league with 24 wins, a 2.32 ERA and 334 strikeouts in 2002.
While still developing his control-related mechanics on a soon-to-be 6’10 frame, the towering 24 year old paved the way to his MLB debut with a strong showing for the Tribe during the 1988 campaign. Johnson rebounded from a 128-walk season with Double-A Jacksonville in 1987 to issue nearly three fewer walks-per-9 innings while still totaling an impressive 111 strikeouts over his 20 Triple-A games (19 starts) with the Indians the following year.
His 1988 highlight reel also included a 13-strikeout effort on May 19 vs. Syracuse (seven innings), and seven no-hit frames as part of a combined no-hitter on Aug. 6 at Nashville.
Johnson then went the distance for the first time in his pro career during the Tribe’s elimination game of the Triple-A Baseball Classic, whiffing eight to help captain a 10-2 victory over the Rochester Red Wings in Game 3 of the championship series on Sept. 9. Title hopes alive and well, the Indians rallied behind Johnson’s masterpiece to claim the 1988 Triple-A championship and send their power lefty off to the Expos for his first of many future big league appearances.
Johnson now turns in a Cooperstown resume with a career record of 303-166 with a 3.29 ERA (1513 ER/4135.1 IP) and 4,875 strikeouts in 618 major league games (603 starts). One of only five players to win the Cy Young Award in both the American and National League, Johnson retired from baseball ranked second in the majors and first among left-handers in all-time strikeouts, 22nd in career wins and as the only big league pitcher to fan 300 or more batters in five straight seasons (1998-2002).
2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot
First-Ballot Candidates: Rich Aurilia, Aaron Boone, Tony Clark, Carlos Delgado, Jermaine Dye, Darin Erstad, Cliff Floyd, Nomar Garciaparra, Brian Giles, Tom Gordon, Eddie Guardado, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Troy Percival, Jason Schmidt, Gary Sheffield and John Smoltz.
Returning Candidates (with their 2014 election percentages): Craig Biggio (74.8%), Mike Piazza (62.2%), Jeff Bagwell (54.3%), Tim Raines (46.1%), Roger Clemens (35.4%), Barry Bonds (34.7%), Lee Smith (29.9%), Curt Schilling (29.2%), Edgar Martinez (25.2%), Alan Trammell (20.8%), Mike Mussina (20.3%), Jeff Kent (15.2%), Fred McGriff (11.7%), Mark McGwire (11.0%), Larry Walker (10.2%), Don Mattingly (8.2%) and Sammy Sosa (7.2%).
Former Indianapolis Indians Players in the Hall of Fame:
[Player/Manager (Years with IND) — Year Inducted]
Alexander, Grover C. (1910) — 1939
Appling, Luke (1962) — 1964
Brown, Mordecai “Three-Finger”(1919) — 1949
Hartnett, Gabby (1942) — 1955
Killebrew, Harmon (1958) — 1984
Lajoie, Napoleon (1918) — 1937
Lopez, Al (1948-50) — 1977
Marquard, Richard (1908) — 1971
McCarthy, Joseph (1911) — 1957
McKechnie, Bill (1914 Fed. Lg.) — 1962
Schalk, Raymond (1938-39) — 1974
Uecker, Bob (1960) — 2003 (announcer wing of H.O.F)