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The Best Ever

January 6, 2010

What are there, five, six billion people living on this planet? To say you are the “best ever” or to have people call you the ‘best ever,’ no matter the topic, profession or endeavor, is truly an incredible thing.

The greatest power pitcher in the game’s history retired yesterday. Think about that: greatest ever…..

I had the honor of being in the same rotation as RJ for a little over three years and I can say, without a doubt, that there is no way I’d have achieved what I did then, or afterwards, were it not for him. Randy pushed me in ways I never thought possible, and made things happen I knew I’d never see again.

The major leagues is the best of the best. There is no “5A”, no league above it. When someone in the big leagues is so good he makes competition look amateur, it’s saying something. There were nights, like when he punched out 20 vs. Cincy, when RJ was a man amongst boys. It’s a cliche used far too often, and often not applicable in the cases it is used, but he was just that.

Like Jordan in his prime, Tiger on a roll, Federer, Pele, Gretzky, all of them, RJ was every bit as dominant and more so at times, than any of them.

He should go down as the most dominating power pitcher, certainly the most dominant left hander, of all time, and I’m proud to say I was part of a team he played on that brought home the first world championship in any sport to Arizona.

Add to that his wonderful wife Lisa, who provided so many things we athletes need and the public misses, that moral support at home and the ability to raise our children while we’re off  “playing a game,” for without that pillar of strength at home, we could never achieve what we do.

God Bless and Congratulations on a first ballot, 100% unanimous Hall of Fame Career RJ, it was an honor to watch.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. jjmcs permalink
    January 6, 2010 3:37 pm

    impressive praise. I very much enjoyed reading this.

  2. Joe permalink
    January 6, 2010 4:19 pm

    Well said Curt. Many fans in Boston missed out on watching him daily, especially during his different stints in the NL, but this guy was a beast. His time in NY didn’t nearly showcase what he was all about, and Seattle seems like ages ago, but you do have an argument for being a top 5 pitcher of all time, and its possible but tough to argue the most dominating power pitcher ever. Ironically, ahead of everything he gave to the game over the years, without a doubt, was the bird pitch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeSm6ya4ww8

  3. Rhayader permalink
    January 6, 2010 4:29 pm

    Great tribute Curt, and my sincere thanks to Randy Johnson for spending over two decades showing us how awesome great pitching is during an era ruled by an obsession with arcade-like offense. In the end, I think RJ and Greg Maddux were the two most important pitchers — heck, maybe players — of their era. Best wishes to Randy and his family moving forward.

  4. DeniseSoxFan permalink
    January 6, 2010 4:57 pm

    Great tribute, Curt!

  5. Dillen permalink
    January 6, 2010 5:27 pm

    Mr. Schilling I know this is off topic and i am sorry for that i just cannot figure out how to ask a question somewhere else on here.

    My Name is Dillen and i am a high school baseball player, i would love to play in the MLB on day, and i am trying to improve my strength,speed,power,and overall skill to do so i am aware that i need to be working out and becoming stronger, however i do not have the money to go to any fancy camps to help me out so i am going to do my best at trying to workout from my home, but i am unaware of what supplements i should be taking i know at this stage i need to take something to help a little but i am not sure what. i do not want to take anything that is going to hurt me but i want something that is effective. the supplements i read about all have terrible sideeffects which i do not want to have. i know you are not a doctor but i am asking for your help please i have no idea who else to ask. even my doctor isnt sure. being that you were a pro baseball player and a future HOF pitcher i would like to get your opinion on the matter.

    thank you very much
    cencerely yours, Dillen

  6. January 6, 2010 5:35 pm

    I would say the Big Train still owns the most dominant power pitcher title, can’t come up with a better power lefty than RJ. It’s too bad that he’s calling it quits, he can still pitch at a high level.

  7. franklloyd permalink
    January 6, 2010 7:23 pm

    I am a Mariners fan who considers himself fortunate to have seen the wild longhaired colt who came to the M’s from the Expos in the Mark Langston trade mature into the most feared power lefthander in MLB history. He was always a thrill to watch, and the guy you’d buy a walk-up ticket to see pitch.

    Big Unit, you are THE MAN! Happy Trails.

  8. PapiFan permalink
    January 6, 2010 10:15 pm

    With all due respect, Curt, Sandy Koufax is the best lefthander ever. And Johnson, while a great first ballot hall of famer, is not even the best of his generation. Pedro Martinez outpitched Randy during his run of dominance in a much tougher league and division as you should know.

    I have never seen a pitcher as dominant as Pedro was during 1999 or 2000. The guy had a 0.74 WHIP one year. That is incredible. To this day, the most dominating pitching performance I ever saw was when he one hit the World Champion Yankees and struck out 17. This was not the Padres, the Royals or the Orioles. We are talking about the best lineup in baseball at the time. Randy benefitted from the NL greatly as he got a couple of automatic outs each game. Now if you care about longevity, then you can argue he was dominant for longer maybe, but he never was as good as Pedro was in his prime.

  9. caddy permalink
    January 7, 2010 3:45 pm

    dillen certainly isn’t Harvard bound is he?

  10. Tonemeister permalink
    January 8, 2010 8:52 am

    And with all due respect I agree with Papifan, Sandy Koufax was the BEST lefthander ever and I believe Casey Stengel called him the best “PITCHER” ever. Steve Carlton was easily as good and quite nearly as durable and some Oldtimers would nominate Lefty Grove. I’ve created what I call a “Stat Formula” that backs up what i’m saying from a statistical standpoint.

    Sandy Koufax’s (other-worldly) 1965 season garnered 1201 Value points.
    Steve Carlton’s monster 1972 season accumulated 1169 Value points. These 2 seasons are comparable to the unbelievable stats of yesteryear. (Example)
    Grover Cleveland Alexander’s 1915 season added up to 1221 Value points.
    Christy Matthewson in 1915 probably holds the record with 1305 points.

    Randy Johnson’s best year was 2002 with 977 Value points.
    Pedro Martinez best year was 1999 with 874 Value Points.
    Curt Schilling’s best year was 2002 with 893 value points.
    Sandy & Steve were both in (4) World Series and Randy (1). If “Winning” is any barometer and pitching with the money on the table Sandy & Steve come out on top.

    I’ll give Randy Johnson the durability nod, and most importantly conducting himself in a professional manner in today’s sad sports atmosphere. But the truth is today’s ballplayers “aren’t” as good as yesterdays.

    Tim Lincecum 2009 NL Cy Young award winner 727 Value Points.
    Adam Wainright 2009 runnerup 731 Value Points
    Roy Halliday 2009 stats 726 Value points
    Justin Verlander 2009 stats 758 Value points.

  11. mike in salem permalink
    January 9, 2010 1:15 am

    …don’t talk back to me

    thats my lasting memory of RJ

  12. Sean in AZ permalink
    January 9, 2010 1:14 pm

    Curt,
    Watching you guys in 01. I’ve never seen a more lethal 1 2 punch in baseball. Was always kinda bummed it ended as soon as it did when the Diamondbacks shipped you off to Boston, but thats the business. Honestly I started watching the Sox more at that point than the local 9. Always had a pipe dream that you guys would have a reunion tour with the DBacks later on.

    Great comments on RJ, along with yourself he was a joy to watch. That slider down and in was just nasty paired with that fastball.

    I would argue you two were the best top of the rotation in the modern day game on that 01 AZ team.

    And Game 7 wow, was lucky enough to have Euckers there. Easily hands down the best sports moment I’ve ever experienced. A memory that’ll never fade. True Story book stuff. Very surreal.

    Thanks to the Dynamic Duo for all the memories.

  13. sdl1 permalink
    January 9, 2010 1:52 pm

    Curt…

    Was there no way for you to convince Randy to come play for the Sox for a few seasons????

  14. Dillen permalink
    January 10, 2010 3:15 pm

    whats up with “Caddy”? im just trying to get an answer cuz i cant get one anywhere else.

  15. blue dog permalink
    January 10, 2010 7:31 pm

    Caddy Says~ “dillen certainly isn’t Harvard bound is he?”

    I dunno caddy, maybe if he finds the correct combination of brain supplements to complement his physical regimen it could enhance his prospects for admission.

  16. blue dog permalink
    January 10, 2010 7:41 pm

    But then, if not Harvard, there’s always Yavapai Community College…

  17. Dillen permalink
    January 11, 2010 6:06 pm

    whats up with Caddy? im judt trying to get some answers bro

  18. jim permalink
    January 12, 2010 7:14 am

    Bob Feller is the greatest power pitcher of all time.

  19. January 12, 2010 11:30 pm

    Dillen,

    Stay in school. Learn the English language. Eat your fruits and veggies, do interval sprints with lunges and jumping exercises. And watch the 50 million videos on Youtube that offer training and advice.

    And the rest of you clowns.. 249.2 IP with 372 SO in his 15th!!! year.

    Averaging 6.75 IP per start helped his club year after year. And 12 complete games in a season is monster.

  20. January 14, 2010 1:32 pm

    Curt,
    Very well said, however he is not the greatest ever. That belongs to Nolan Ryan. Don’t get me wrong he would be in the top 5 ever though.

  21. January 17, 2010 9:03 am

    Curt,

    I was at those Arizona games and have a pic next to the trophy thanks to you, Randy and the rest of the boys. That was the most exciting baseball I’ve ever watched.

    RJ was such a competitor… even at the plate. I loved to watch him nail a base hit when so many NL pitchers are an automatic out.

    Those were great times. Thank you and thanks to “The Unit.”

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