Johnson's Secret: Hitting People

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2009 11:54 AM CDT
Congratulations, Randy. You're the Babe Ruth of plunking people.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Randy Johnson could become the 24th pitcher to hit 300 wins tonight, but few in that elusive club can challenge Johnson’s most impressive stat, Darren Everson writes in the Wall Street Journal: The Big Unit has hit a whopping 188 batters, a total topped only by Walter Johnson and Eddie Plank, World War I-era pitchers who threw many more innings.

One could argue that Johnson’s tendency to nail people was a big component to his success. At his peak, Johnson threw a 100mph fastball that no batter wanted a taste of. “He just put the fear of God in guys,” says one former player. It’s apparently an effective tactic: Eight of the top 14 career beanball leaders are in the Hall of Fame.