Randy Johnson gives thanks in Diamondbacks retirement ceremony

Aug 8, 2015, 6:21 PM | Updated: Aug 10, 2015, 11:13 am
Follow @kzimmermanaz...

Randy Johnson tried not to make it about him, but it was.

The Arizona Diamondbacks retired the Hall of Fame pitcher’s No. 51 jersey Saturday night, and the Big Unit did everything to deflect the credit. He could have done so using the shiny gold drum set he was gifted with — an exact replica of what Neil Peart played with during Rush’s 30th Anniversary tour.

“Welcome to an evening of karaoke at the ballpark,” Johnson began, after walking onto the field from the bullpen.

“When a lot of Hall of Famers came up to me and said this day is all about you,” he added, “I said, it’s about all the people who … looked out for me along the way. And that list is really long.”

Johnson thanked former D-backs general manager Joe Garagiola Jr., listed off a number of long-time club employees, then a number of his Diamondbacks teammates. He thanked Matt Williams, Jay Bell, Craig Counsell, Steve Finley, Luis Gonzalez, Tony Womack, Damian Miller and Mark Grace, among others.

“Matt was probably the closest to my personality on game-day,” Johnson said of their habit of isolation as they readied for competition. “I knew I was going to get 110 percent from Matt.”

Then, Johnson thanked the fans.

“There was a lot of winning going on here and a lot of tradition being made,” he said of his time in Arizona. “Every fan makes it possible to dig down a little deeper, whether it was me or my other teammates, and make me do things I never thought I could ever do.”

But of course, Johnson hadn’t left off the most important man in Valley sports, Jerry Colangelo, the former owner who brought the team — and later Johnson — to Arizona.

“I’m still thankful I met Jerry Colangelo,” Johnson said. “He had a vision for this franchise. He brought successful baseball to Arizona.”

Of course, Johnson had a little something to do with that.

Arizona Diamondbacks

FILE - Chase Field sits empty after the Colorado Rockies decided not to play their baseball game ag...
Arizona Sports

Arizona Diamondbacks claim former Orioles pitcher Zack Burdi off waivers

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Thursday they have claimed pitcher Zack Burdi off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles.
12 days ago
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 01: Manager Torey Lovullo #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks signals from the ...
Arizona Sports

D-backs’ Lovullo ready to fill critical roles on coaching staff

D-backs skipper Torey Lovullo spoke with media about how he plans to fill the team's pitching, hitting and bench coach positions.
17 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen joins The Doug & Wolf Show for an interview on ...
Kevin Zimmerman

D-backs to prioritize more power bullpen arms, grinding hitters

Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen believes more power in the bullpen and more grinding hitters at the plate can help turn his team around.
18 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo (17) argues with umpire Chad Whitson, left, during the t...
Arizona Sports

D-backs make multiple coaching changes to start offseason

Arizona manager Torey Lovullo retained his job with a one-year extension, but his staff is not moving forward in the same framework.
18 days ago
San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler returns to the dugout after the national anthem before a bas...
Associated Press

Padres fire manager Jayce Tingler after midseason collapse

The San Diego Padres have fired Jayce Tingler a season after finishing second in voting for NL Manager of the Year.
20 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks' David Peralta, right, douses Diamondbacks' Josh VanMeter (19) after VanMeter'...
Associated Press

Diamondbacks clinch No. 2 pick in MLB Draft after going 52-110 in 2021

The Diamondbacks finished with a 52-110 record in 2021, tying the Baltimore Orioles for the worst record in the majors.
23 days ago
Randy Johnson gives thanks in Diamondbacks retirement ceremony