Johnson perfect at age 40
Randy Johnson, already a virtual lock to become a Hall of Famer, had just finished the 17th perfect game in big league history on May 18, 2004, at Atlanta’s Turner Field. Hammock looked up – Johnson was a foot taller than Hammock – to see Johnson grinning ear-to-ear, a rarity for one of the game’s most intense competitors.
But on this night, Johnson had ample reason to celebrate.
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Johnson received a standing ovation from the 23,381 fans at Turner Field when he came to bat in the ninth inning – and another when he took the mound in the bottom of the ninth.
“What can you say? You go home and come back tomorrow,” said Braves pinch hitter Eddie Pérez, who struck out to end the game. “He just pitched a great game.”
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum