The 3,000 strikeout club is one of baseball’s most elite and elusive milestones. In Major League Baseball history, only 16 pitchers have achieved this rare mark. The list includes names such as Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens, and on September 10, 2000, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Randy Johnson joined the legendary cast of pitchers. To make matters even sweeter for the 22 year veteran, it was also his 37th birthday.
As the Diamondbacks struggled in a 4-3 loss to the Florida Marlins, Johnson excelled at the plate with a season-high 14 strikeouts, reaching his 300th of the season and 3000th of his career along the way. Speaking with the AP after the game, Johnson wouldn’t let his achievement overshadow Arizona’s loss: “Obviously winning for the team comes first, especially considering the situation that we’re in. So when you look at tonight, the outcome of what I did isn’t as good since we lost.”
Today, “The Bug Unit” Randy Johnson is ranked second of all time amongst strikeout leaders with 4,875. During his 2000 run, he was known for wearing Nike cleats equipped with Zoom Air, and would continue to wear the responsive model for years to come.
Happy birthday, Randy Johnson!
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