MLB Legend Randy Johnson Is Now Living a Second Career as NFL and Wildlife Photographer

Johnson, a Baseball Hall of Famer, now operates a studio that specializes in wildlife, travel and concert photography

Former MLB pitcher Randy Johnson on sidelines with camera during Dallas Cowboys vs Arizona Cardinals game at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Photo: Gene Lower /Sports Illustrated via Getty

Former MLB player Randy Johnson has traded pitching for pictures.

On Wednesday, a photograph showing Johnson — the former Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher — holding a gigantic camera while on the sidelines of an NFL game went viral on Twitter.

"Learned today that randy johnson is now a professional photographer (??) and and shoots nfl games (???)" the tweet from Sophie Kleeman of Insider said.

As it turns out, Johnson was a photographer before he was an MLB star.

"My career as a Major League baseball pitcher has been well documented, but what is not as well known is my passion for photography, which began when I studied photojournalism at the University of Southern California from 1983-85," the 59-year-old explains on his website.

"Baseball became my occupation for two decades, but my love of photography never left," he continued. "Following my 2010 retirement, I was able to focus my attention back to this passion."

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Randy Johnson delivers in the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres 25 May 1999 in Phoenix. Johnson pitched the complete game and earned the shut out, allowing six hits and striking out 12, as the Diamondbacks won 4-0.

Johnson's website showcases dozens of images featuring wild animals, landscapes and concerts.

"Thanks to the people I got to meet during my baseball career, I've been fortunate to have unique opportunities in photography," he explained on the site. "I've gotten to talk to and learn from some of the best photographers in different fields."

Johnson, who was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015, said his work has been featured in Rolling Stone, Spin, and Metal Hammer.

"Photography has taken me on an amazing journey, but it's only just beginning," he said. "I look forward to visiting places I've never been, shooting things I've never seen, and getting better each and every day."

Kleeman's tweet received more than 147,000 likes on the platform since it was posted on Thursday, with many users pointing out that Johnson's studio uses a dead bird as its logo.

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The logo is a humourous reference to one of baseball's most absurdly improbable moments.

During a spring training game in 2001, a dove flew directly in the path of one of Johnson's fastballs and seemingly exploded in front of the Arizona crowd. A video of the moment has racked up nearly 6 million views on YouTube.

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