BEST PRO ATHLETE (2004)
Just when Amare Stoudemire had become the crown prince of the Valley sports market, Randy Johnson proved that the king has yet to leave the building. With the Big Unit's perfect game in May against the Atlanta Braves -- in which he set down, in order, all 27 batters he faced, while striking out 13 -- Johnson gave the Diamondbacks their first no-hitter in franchise history (Johnson's second) and a dismal season's lone bright spot. That was, until he later earned his 4,000th strikeout on June 29, becoming just the fourth pitcher in history to reach the milestone. And on September 15, he passed Hall of Famer Steve Carlton for third place on the all-time strikeouts list. A World Series ring, four straight Cy Young awards, close to 2,000 strikeouts, and now the perfect game -- all in a D-Backs uniform. As long as the Unit finishes his Hall of Fame career here in Phoenix, he won't just be the greatest left-hander to play the game -- he'll be the greatest athlete ever to represent the Grand Canyon State. Amare, wait your turn.
Readers' Choice: Randy Johnson
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