Just the mention of his name elicits a collection of defeated, almost fearful responses from major league hitters.
Some shake their head and laugh nervously. Others ponder their fate for a moment...then shrug their shoulders in resignation. Still others take a deep breath and slowly exhale as if they've narrowly escaped death.
Remember the 1993 All-Star Game? The always colorful, left-handed hitting John Kruk stepped in to face Johnson. The 6-foot-10 inch southpaw promptly sailed a fastball over the first baseman's head. That's all Kruk needed. He was finished.
He was transformed into a wide-eyed little leaguer batting for the first time as he bailed...
The thing I’ll remember most about my career is how much I grew up as both an athlete and a man, not to mention how much I learned about what it takes trying to be the best.
I really started to learn that mentality and that attitude at the 1992 Olympics, being on the original Dream Team with guys like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. I learned by seeing how intense they were about their sport, about their training, and about their commitment to what they do.
Up until that time, I always enjoyed basketball, but I always looked at it as a sport. You come out and you play basketball. You know, it’s fun, but that was it. But those guys took it to another whole level for me. It wasn’t just learning how to be intense and having commitment, it was also seeing the responsibility you have for your teammates...
Former managing editor of Sports Spectrum, Dave Branon, wrote "Friends In Deed" for SS's November 1999 issue about David Robinson and Avery Johnson's unique friendship.
Imagine having a nice leisurely breakfast at your local International House of Pancakes when the glass doors swing open and in walk two of the most famous basketball players in Texas.
It happens once in a while in Stafford, Texas, outside of Houston, when the urge hits David Robinson and Avery Johnson to go out for real food among the real people.
"That's one of our favorite spots," says Robinson, who lives outside of San Antonio. "When I go down to Houston to visit Avery, we go to IHOP and get breakfast. We go when Avery treats me..."
The NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 26 and former Michigan State quarterback, Kirk Cousins, will be hoping to hear his name called by an NFL team some time in the early rounds. In our story about from the Summer 2011 issue of Sports Spectrum, Cousins talked about his future in the NFL.
“Ultimately, the whole NFL thing and the future in general, whether you are playing in the pros or just your future, whether you’re an athlete or a college student in general, most of us don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few years."
“It’s a little bit scary because I’m the kind of guy who likes to have a plan and likes to have things laid out."
“We have to trust in the Lord’s plan and we have to walk with Him and honor Him and trust Him...