Being successful in one field of life is hard enough but taking over two careers is a totally different story. Most successful athletes are happy swimming in the glory of their accolades on the pitch. After their careers, a few will resurface later with scandals, or they may appear at public events and that is all. However, for celebrated baseball player Randy Johnson, his success on the pitch alone was not enough. He is one of the few athletes who have been able to successfully switch careers immediately after hanging up the boots. According to Johnson, he always had a passion for photography and having time on his hands, he thought doing it professionally would be a good idea.
About Randy Johnson
Randy Johnson became a household name in America during his early career days. While still in college, the man started attracting national attention due to his success in baseball. In no long time, he became a small god to all baseball lovers. The years that followed his debut at Seattle Mariners in 1988 were filled with plenty of success stories until his retirement from professional baseball in 2009. In 2015, Randy Johnson was unveiled into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in New York. He has been celebrated all over the world as one of the best baseball players of all times. During his career, he was arguably the best pitcher in America and consequently among the best in the world. After his retirement, Johnson did not look for a retirement home in The Virgin Islands as you would expect. The man found his love for the cameras more enticing. Well, not the love to be in front of the camera lenses, but staying behind the camera lenses. As a photographer, Johnson has already achieved what most photographers could only dream of.
Johnson started pitching in Seattle and led the American League in walks for three straight years. During his third year, he also led the league in strikeouts— a feat he would go on to achieve for four subsequent years. Although he remained among the top, Johnson started dropping his walks in 1992. From a high of 144, his walk dropped to 65 in 1995. It was the same year- 1995 that Johnson won his first Cy Young Awards and went on to win four others in his career. These first few years in Seattle placed his life in the limelight and gave him the opportunity to play for the national side and eventually the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Randy Johnson’s Photography Career
Randy found love for the cameras while still a young boy. Born in East Bay Area Town, Randy had plenty of time to enjoy the outdoors. With the beauty of Livermore, he needed something to help him preserve the memories of the places he visited. Randy started carrying his camera around for hobby shots before advancing his trade to somewhat professional. As a highschooler, Randy snapped shots at a Day on the Green- Which is a massive festival in Oakland. Some of the big names present at the event included Sammy Hagar and Journey among others. Although this may not seem significant, it marked growth in his career as a photographer.
When he joined college, Randy was all about baseball, having joined on a baseball scholarship. Randy worked as a photographer for the Daily Trojan at the USC before he began rising up as a major baseball player. Since success in baseball needed much attention, the young man had to give up his passion for photography to pursue a career in baseball which he also enjoyed. According to Johnson, he did not pick up the camera as often as he would like during his college days. However, he enjoyed taking photos during offseason holidays. As a man who had developed high discipline on the pitch, he enjoys photography very much. Johnson says that Photography requires both focus and poise, which are the same ingredients for pitching. He is a man who has learned how to control his body and emotions by playing baseball. All these factors contribute largely to his success behind the camera. Another important factor that has helped Johnson grow as a photographer is his success on the pitch. Enjoying a wide fan base gives him the chance to convert some of his baseball fans into his photo lovers. According to Johnson, his fame gave him a good reception, especially when shooting concert photos.
Johnson’s Concert Photography
Although he is involved in all types of photography, his work in music concerts has become widely accepted. During his photo-taking adventures, he came across the Manager of Metallica. This interaction opened up more doors and gave him the chance to meet the whole band in 2013. Eventually, he ended up taking photos for the band alongside many other photographers. Within a short span, two of his photos were selected to feature on the cover of their new book.
Over the past decade, Johnson has grown as a photographer and his work has come to be widely accepted. In the music industry, sports, and personal life, Johnson has attracted wide acceptance giving him the chance to create his portfolio and attract more opportunities. Besides being a photographer Johnson still maintains a good bond with his former club, the Arizona Diamondbacks. In fact, he still lives in Phoenix, his home for the past 15 years. He also holds a position at the Arizona Diamondbacks as an assistant coach. Although he is not required to be at the pitch full time, he appears there during free time to mentor and coach. Given that he is a man who is always on the road, little attention is given to sports and much focus on his new career. Even with that said, Johnson admits that he still enjoys playing baseball.
For Johnson, having to choose between photography and playing baseball is a hard call to make. This explains the reason why, even after 15 years of a successful baseball career, the old man finds it difficult to put the camera aside. His love for photography has paid off in the end. Today, Johnson’s work in photography is widely recognized in the showbiz industry. He has shot awesome pictures for top artists and bands. Although he had enjoyed a long career in baseball, Johnson did not want to end it there. He sought to achieve more in life and life gave it to him.