Why Was Randy Johnson The First Person To Receive A 'Key To The City' In Phoenix?

Published: Friday, June 12, 2015 - 4:00pm
Audio icon Download mp3 (5.18 MB)

Phoenix officially became a city in 1881, 31 years before Arizona became a state. But not once in the course of that 134-year existence had a municipal leader bestowed a key to the city to anyone. And considering the “key to the city” concept has been around since Medieval times, there were opportunities.

That non-key streak was ended earlier this month when soon-to-be Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson was given the honor.

To figure this out, I spoke with longtime KJZZ commentator Robrt Pela, who himself was actually given a key to the city of San Francisco in the late 1980s. We asked him why Phoenix was so late in adopting this tradition.

If you like this story, Donate Now!