Arizona Diamondbacks cancel plans to name parts of State Route 51 after Randy Johnson

Jul 14, 2015, 8:56 PM | Updated: Jul 15, 2015, 10:59 am

The Arizona Diamondbacks have pulled out of a press conference Friday that would place Randy Johnson’s name on parts of the State Route 51.

In a statement, the D-backs explained the news conference was canceled due to concerns from all parties involved, including the Piestewa family. SR-51 was named Piestewa Freeway after Lori Piestewa, the first known Native American woman to die in combat for the U.S. military.

The Diamondbacks stand by their original decision to honor Johnson, but concerns eventually led to the event cancellation.

Johnson has made numerous trips overseas to visit troops with the USO and is working to fund two Wounded Warriors to attend his induction ceremony into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Given this commitment, Johnson did not feel comfortable moving forward with the event nor did the D-backs or any of the other parties involved.

Gov. Doug Ducey said the state is looking for a different way to honor Johnson, but SR-51 will keep its name.

“There was a miscommunication,” he said. “I just want everyone to know that the 51 is Piestewa Parkway. It was always going to remain Piestewa Parkway.”

KTAR’s Lauren Grifo contributed to this report.

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