Freeway renaming ceremony cancelled after Piestewa family upset

PHOENIX (AP) - The state has cancelled its ceremony to honor former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson in advance of the left-hander's upcoming induction into baseball's Hall of Fame.

Johnson wore the number "51" while playing for Arizona, and Gov. Doug Ducey had planned to unveil signage for State Route 51 honoring Johnson.

The Arizona Department of Transportation says naming State Route 51 for Johnson would have been temporary.

The highway that connects Interstate 10 in central Phoenix with the Loop 101 freeway in north Phoenix is already permanently named the Piestewa Freeway.

Lori Piestewa was a U.S. Army soldier from Arizona killed in action in 2003 during the Iraq War.

Plans were cancelled after Piestewa's family expressed concerns.

The Diamondbacks say they understand the family's problem with the ceremony and say Johnson didn't feel comfortable moving forward with the event.

Johnson's Hall of Fame induction is scheduled July 26, and the Diamondbacks plan to retire his uniform number during an Aug. 8 ceremony.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press modified.

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