Dan Wilson, Randy Johnson “Hall-Worthy”

Two new members will be inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame this summer – Dan Wilson, one of the best defensive catchers in MLB, and Randy Johnson, one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball.

Dan and Randy’s exploits with the Mariners are well-known – the records, the memorable moments… those are etched in our minds. But do you recall their early days?

Randy Johnson came to the Mariners in May 1989 in a trade that sent Mark Langston and a player to be named later (Mike Campbell) to the Montreal Expos. In exchange, the Mariners got Gene Harris, Brian Holman and Randy. At the time, Randy was actually the “third” man. Gene Harris was seen as the prize. Of course, Harris was traded by the Mariners three years later to the Padres. He had stops in Detroit, Philadelphia and Baltimore before ending his seven-year career 12-18 with a 4.71 ERA and 26 saves.

Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson celebrate as the Mariners clinch their first trip to the postseason with a 9-1 win over the Angels during a one-game playoff on October 2, 1995 at the Kingdome.

Brian Holman played with the Mariners until 1991, memorably coming within one strike of a perfect game against the Oakland A’s on April 20, 1990.

Dan Wilson came to the Mariners after the 1993 season in a trade with the Reds for second baseman Bret Boone. When he heard that the Mariners had acquired Wilson, former Mariners catcher Scott Bradley, who had played briefly with Dan when they were both in the Reds system in 1992, called Joe Chard, then Mariners director of Community Relations (now VP of Corporate Business and Community Relations), to heap praise on Wilson. Bradley said Dan was going to be a great player, and he was an even better man. And as great as he thought Dan was, Bradley said Dan’s wife Annie was even better.

Almost 20-years later, Mariners fans now know just what Scott Bradley was talking about. Dan was a great player, and he and Annie have made a strong and lasting impact on this community through their work over the years for such organizations as First Place, a school for homeless children.

While at the Mariners, Randy Johnson co-chaired the annual Mariners Care Cystic Fibrosis Charity Golf Tournament, with Jay Buhner, which has raised over $4.5 million for CF research since 1986.

Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson join the current Mariners Hall of Famers Alvin Davis Davis (1997), Dave Niehaus (2000), Jay Buhner (2004) and Edgar Martinez (2007).

Mariners legend Jay Buhner had this to say about his former teammates and fellow Hall of Famers:

“It’s great to have two more Seattle icons join the Mariners Hall of Fame. Their performances and accolades on the field speak for themselves but it’s the continued work off the field that is most impressive. They both understand the importance of giving back to their communities and to those in need and less fortunate. I welcome both of them to the Mariners Hall of Fame. This brings back so many great memories.”

Four Sixths of the Mariners Hall of Fame, with Jay Buhner, Dan Wilson, Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, Ken Griffey Jr., on Opening Night 2010.

Here is the official news release:

SEATTLE, Wash. (Jan. 17, 2012) — One of the best defensive catchers and one of the most dominant pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball will be inducted into the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame this year. Dan Wilson and Randy Johnson will become the fifth and sixth members of the Mariners Hall of Fame when they are inducted during a ceremony on Saturday, July 28, 2012, prior to the Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals game.

Dan Wilson played 12 of his 14 Major League seasons for the Mariners (1994-2005). Wilson, who played more games as a catcher than any other player in Mariners history (1,281), is ranked among the Top 10 in a bevy of Mariners offensive categories including:

  • Games played (1,251, 5th),
  • Hits (1,071, 6th),
  • Extra base hits (308, 9th),
  • Total bases (1,568, 8th),
  • Doubles (207, 6th),
  • RBI (508, 9th),
  • At-bats (4,085, 7th),
  • Runs (433, 10th).

Wilson represented the Mariners on the 1996 American League All-Star team. He owns the Mariners career records for home runs by a catcher (including two inside-the-park home runs), and the Club’s single season records for catchers in RBI (83, 1996), and is tied with Miguel Olivo (2011) for home runs (18, 1996). Wilson ended his career with a .995 fielding percentage, at the time the highest for any catcher in American League history, and the sixth highest in Major League history. He is currently tied for first among A.L. catchers with Joe Mauer and A.J.Pierzinski.

Randy Johnson had a 22-year Major League career, playing for six teams including 1989-1998 for the Mariners. He also played for the Montreal Expos (1988-89), Houston Astros (1998), Arizona Diamondbacks (1999-2004, 2007-08), New York Yankees (2005-06) and San Francisco Giants (2009).

Johnson had one of the most dominant fastballs in the game and regularly hit 100+ mph in his prime. He won five Cy Young Awards (1995, 1999-2002), including the first by a Mariners pitcher when he went 18-2 with a 2.48 ERA in 1995. Johnson pitched two no-hitters—June 2, 1990 vs. DET and MLB’s 17th perfect game on May 18, 2004.

Johnson came to Seattle in 1989 in a trade with the Montreal Expos. He had his breakout season in 1993 when he went 19-8 with 3.24 ERA and the first of his six 300+ strikeout seasons. Johnson was instrumental in the team’s first-ever trip to the postseason in 1995 when the Mariners staged an improbable late-season charge making up a 13-and-a-half game deficit. The Mariners finished the season tied with the Anaheim Angels, which forced a one-game playoff on October 2 at the Kingdome. The Mariners beat the Angels 9-1behind Johnson’s 12 strikeout, three-hit, complete game.

After the Mariners lost the first two games of the American League Division Series to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, Johnson started Game 3 at the Kingdome and won 7-4. In Game 5, on one day’s rest, Johnson memorably strode in from the bullpen for a relief appearance. He pitched the 9th, 10th and 11th innings, giving up one run with six strikeouts. Johnson held off the Yankees for the comeback capped by Edgar Martinez’s double that scored the winning run. The Mariners won 6-5 in 11 innings, and went on to the team’s first-ever appearance in the American League Championship Series.

Randy Johnson retired after the 2009 season with a career win-loss record of 303-166, ERA of 3.29 and 4,875 strikeouts, second only to Nolan Ryan’s 5,714. In addition to his 10 trips to the All-Star Game (1990, 1993-95, 1997, 1999, 2001-02) and five Cy Young Awards (1995, 1999-2002), Johnson led the league in ERA four times (1995, 1999, 2001, 2002) and strikeouts nine times (1992-1995, 1999-2002, 2004). He was 2001 World Series co-MVP with Curt Schilling, and during his career, Johnson defeated every Major League team at least once.

The four current members of the Seattle Mariners Hall of Fame are Alvin Davis (1997), Dave Niehaus (2000), Jay Buhner (2004) and Edgar Martinez (2007). The Hall of Fame was created to honor the players, staff and other individuals that greatly contributed to the history of the Mariners franchise.

– RH

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