Big Unit visits Naval Academy
Baseball pitcher Randall David ‘Randy’ Johnson, better known as the Big Unit, recently visited the Republic of Korea Naval Academy during his trip to Korea. He is scheduled to tour United Service Organizations (USO) venues across Korea.
On November 19, Johnson met with students at the academy located in Jinhae, Gyeongsangnam-do (South Gyeongsang Province).
The living legend, who used to play as a left-handed pitcher in the U.S. major leagues, advised the students to not be discouraged by failure and to keep pursuing their dreams. He asked them to watch and love baseball games. He also hoped that everything would go well with them and that they become great navy officers in the future.
On a placard with a background of three words — Dream, Passion, Honor — Johnson signed his autograph with the meaningful number 51, his uniform number and his age, along with the message, “God bless you all.”
Knowing about the geobukseon, the “turtle ships” used during the Japanese invasions of Korea during the 1590s, Johnson asked if he could take a look at the restored warship during his visit. Due to his busy schedule, however, he couldn’t afford to visit the spot where it is on display and only glanced at its exterior from the car on the way back.
Taking the mound in the major leagues for the first time in 1988, Johnson has pitched 303 wins and 166 losses, in a total of 618 games. He has an ERA of 3.29 and 4,974 strikeouts, the highest record of all time in the major leagues. He has won the Cy Young Award five times, an award given to the best pitcher. In 2004, at the age of 41, he succeeded in throwing a perfect game, becoming the oldest player to do so.
By Jeon Han, Lee Seung-ah
Korea.net Staff Writers
Photos: Republic of Korea Naval Academy