Randy Johnson’s photography on display at Cooperstown art gallery during baseball season

Randy Johnson's photography on display at Cooperstown art gallery during baseball season


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Randy Johnson’s Hall of Fame plaque for his baseball career is a permanent fixture in Cooperstown, New York. The next big exhibit in tribute to Johnson’s work is temporary, but still a testament to his passion.

And it’s just up the road from the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

An exhibit of the former star pitcher’s photography is on display at the Fenimore Art Museum. The exhibit is centered around Johnson’s trips to East Africa, Kenya and Rwanda, where he captured images of people and unique wildlife.

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The exhibit, entitled “Randy Johnson: Storytelling with Photographs,” features 30 large prints and runs April 1 through Sept. 17. It is the former Arizona Diamondbacks ace’sĀ first-ever solo exhibition.

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“Photography is not a livelihood. For me, it’s a passion. It’s something that I enjoy doing. And it’s easy to love it because when you travel, as I do, I bring my camera,” Johnson told The Republic this week. “And, you know, it all first started when I was in college. I studied photojournalism, so I’ve been doing it for like 40 years now.”

Johnson’s photography has taken him from rock concerts to Monument Valley to some sports events, including drag racing, and around the world. Johnson will be in Japan later next month and will return to Africa this year.

“It’s just something that I enjoy doing and I enjoy sharing it with other people through my social media,” Johnson said. “This is a big, big step for me. It’s beyond just sharing it on my social media, now I get to share it in a gallery and have it on display. So, you know, that goes without saying, I’m super excited. And it’ll be there for about six months, and we’ll see how it does.”

Johnson looked back on his youth, when as a grade school student he first got to see glimpses of other cultures and unique wildlife marveling at the photos in National Geographic magazines. He’s now taking similar photos, his long and financially successful baseball career affording him the opportunity to see the world.

“You go in Rwanda, you go trekking up into the mountains there to see the silverback gorillas, and then you go over to East Africa, and that’s where Ethiopia is. And, you know, I was able to visit a few different tribes there. And that’s amazing to see that culture,” Johnson said. “To be able to share all of my experiences through my photography, it’s a lot of fun. I’m basically sharing what I get to see with people that may not have been there before.”

Johnson got to see the photos chosen for the exhibit before they were shipped to Cooperstown and said he was very pleased with them. Thousands of visitors to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall of Fame are expected to also visit the Fenimore Museum as part of their trip, and they’ll see Johnson’s work.

“You know, if I never do it again, at least I got to do it once,” Johnson said of his work in an art gallery. “It’s a passion of mine. And to have the opportunity to share something of mine, you know, outside of baseball that I made my name for. … I’m excited about that.”

April 6: The Boston Red Sox's Alex Verdugo slides in safe at home ahead of the tag by Detroit Tigers catcher Jake Rogers in the sixth inning at Comerica Park. The Red Sox won the game, 6-3.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Randy Johnson’s photography on display at Cooperstown art gallery during baseball season