NASCAR's Newest Photographer? Baseball Legend Randy Johnson

The tall dude in the wimpy-looking blue photo vest used to strike fear into the hearts of those who found themselves in his sights.

When he aims now, people just smile.

The 6-foot-10 photographer roaming the garages at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday was none other than baseball legend Randy Johnson, who has been an avid photographer for decades.

His retirement has allowed more time to pursue his hobby, and though he's taken pictures of all sorts of events (and recently photographed troops in Iraq, as well as at Lollapalooza), this is weekend is his rookie foray into motorsports.

Johnson's tenure as a NASCAR media member will only last a couple days, of course, and his primary goal is to "Just not get hurt," he quipped.

Though Johnson once infamously pushed a TV cameraman in New York, the future Hall of Famer said he's "always appreciated what the media does."

"They gotta report their stories, but there's a certain way to go about it," he said. "I understand that first-hand, to give distance."

Johnson said he's tried to keep his distance from drivers in the garage, but has ended up shaking many hands.

"It's kind of hard to blend into the crowd being 6-10," he said. "I think a lot of the NASCAR drivers realized, 'You're somebody, because you're really tall.'"

So far, Johnson seemed to be impressed with racing. He said watching NASCAR on TV "doesn't do it justice," nor does seeing the cars parked in the garage.

"It's kind of like me tossing a baseball up in the air – it's completely different than you standing at the plate and me throwing baseballs at you," he said. "You don't realize it's a whole different perspective."

(For the record, I have no desire to have Johnson throw baseballs at me.)

Johnson said he noticed the lack of a No. 51 car on the track, which he kidded could be his opening for a second career.

 

"I've always had a need for speed," he said, then joked: "I'll get the No. 51 car out there next year, and I may even be the driver/owner."

 

Below: Randy Johnson addresses his fellow media members at Phoenix. (Photo: Jeff Gluck / SB Nation)

Randy_johnson_medium

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.