‘What about birds?’ Randy Johnson gives birds a safe space in new commercial

Apr 16, 2024, 9:29 PM

Hall of Fame pitcher and Arizona Diamondbacks legend Randy Johnson and DIRECTV played off one of the pitcher’s most famous moments of his career in a recent commercial.

And no, we’re not talking about the 2001 World Series or his co-MVP honors. We’re talking about the bird explosion heard around the world.

In the commercial, Johnson is shown being friendly to birds and building miniature ballparks for birds while promoting a contest for the chance for DIRECTV customers to win a miniature ballpark. 

The origin of the commercial plays off an incident that happened on March 24, 2001, during a spring training game between the D-backs and San Francisco Giants where Johnson threw a pitch that struck and killed a bird in an explosion of feathers.

Coincidentally, the batter at the plate for the Giants was Calvin Murray, who is the uncle of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.

The signal caller gave his take on it in 2022 and said his uncle was taking the spring training at-bat very seriously when feathers went everywhere.


“He was so locked in, it’s Randy Johnson, you’ve got to be locked in,” Murray told reporters. “That bird just came out of nowhere.”

Randy Johnson’s career

Johnson played over 22 years with the Montreal Expos (1988-89), Seattle Mariners (1989-98), Houston Astros (1998), Arizona Diamondbacks (1999-04 and 2007-08), New York Yankees (2005-06), and San Francisco Giants (2009). He won over 300 games and struck out over 4,800 batters.

During his first tenure with the D-backs, Johnson won four consecutive Cy Young awards from 1999-02 and would help Arizona capture its first and only World Series in 2001. Johnson was co-MVP of the series alongside pitcher Curt Schilling.

Johnson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015 and his number 51 was retired by the D-backs the same year.


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