Big Unit returns to be honored by Mariners

Big Unit returns to be honored by Mariners
In this Aug. 8, 1997, file photo, Seattle Mariners pitcher Randy Johnson celebrates his 19th and final strike out in the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox during a baseball game at the Kingdome, in Seattle.
SEATTLE (AP) — Randy Johnson says no one other than his wife truly understands how special Seattle is to him. It's where he became the most feared left-handed pitcher in baseball and helped save the franchise from moving with the Mariners' stirring run to the playoffs in 1995.
But his departure in 1998, when Johnson was distracted by a contract dispute and claims he was purposely tanking his season, still bothers him even as he returns to Seattle this weekend to be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame, along with former catcher Dan Wilson.

Johnson said Friday he freely admits to being distracted as the talks surrounding his contract dragged on during the 1998 season. Johnson went 9-10 with a 4.48 ERA with Seattle before being traded to Houston, where he closed the season 10-1.