Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr. (born January 31, 1947), nicknamed The Ryan Express, is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher and a previous chief executive officer (CEO) of the Texas Rangers. He is currently an executive adviser to the owner of the Houston Astros.
Ryan was a right-handed pitcher who consistently threw pitches that were clocked above 100 miles per hour (161 km/h). He maintained this velocity throughout his career, even into his 40's. Ryan was also known to throw a devastating 12–6 curveball at exceptional velocity for a breaking ball.
Ryan had a lifetime winning percentage of .526, and he was an eight-time MLB All-Star. His 5,714 career strikeouts is an MLB record by a significant margin. He leads the runner-up, Randy Johnson, by 839 strikeouts. Similarly, Ryan's 2,795 bases on balls lead second-place Steve Carlton by 962—walking over 50% more hitters than any other pitcher in MLB history. Ryan, Pedro Martínez, Randy Johnson, and Sandy Koufax are the only four pitchers inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame who had more strikeouts than innings pitched. Ryan is one of only three players in history to have his number retired by at least three teams, along with Jackie Robinson (whose number was retired by Major League Baseball) and Frank Robinson.
Ryan is the all-time leader in no-hitters with seven, three more than any other pitcher. He is tied with Bob Feller for the most one-hitters, with 12. Ryan also pitched 18 two-hitters. Despite this, he never pitched a perfect game, nor did he ever win a Cy Young Award. Ryan is one of only 29 players in baseball history to have appeared in Major League baseball games in four different decades.
Ryan with the Texas Rangers in 1990
|Born: January 31, 1947|
|September 11, 1966, for the New York Mets|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 22, 1993, for the Texas Rangers|
|Earned run average||3.19|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Vote||98.8% (first ballot)|
Ryan was born in Refugio, south of Victoria in south Texas, the youngest of six children, to Lynn Nolan Ryan Sr. (1907–1970), and the former Martha Lee Hancock (1913–1990). The senior Ryan operated a newspaper delivery service for the Houston Post that required him to rise in the early morning hours to prepare 1,500 newspapers for delivery over a 55-mile route. The children were expected to help with the daily tasks. Ryan's family lived in nearby Woodsboro in Refugio County, until they moved to Alvin in Brazoria County, when Nolan was six weeks old. As a young boy, Nolan enjoyed throwing objects at any target. His father thought baseball a better usage for his arm; therefore, he encouraged Nolan to play the game.
Ryan joined Alvin Little League Baseball when he was nine, made the all-star team when he was 11 and 12, and pitched the first no-hitter of his life a few years later. Ryan also played various positions besides pitcher.
In junior high school, Ryan could throw a softball over 100 yards. After ninth grade, Ryan quit playing football after a tackle and fumble caused by future NFL running back Norm Bulaich made him decide to focus on baseball.
Ryan played baseball for Coach Jim Watson at Alvin High School for all of his high school career. Ryan held the school's single game strikeout record for 44 years, striking out 21 hitters in a 7-inning game. The record was eventually tied by Alvin High School pitchers Aaron Stewart and Josh Land in the same week in 2009.
In 1963, at an Alvin High School game at Clear Creek High School in League City, Texas, Red Murff, a scout for the New York Mets, first noticed sophomore pitcher Ryan. Coach Watson recounted to Murff that some opponents refused to bat against Ryan and how his hard pitches would sometimes break bones in his catchers' hands. In his subsequent report to the Mets, Murff stated that Ryan had "the best arm I've seen in my life." The Mets would later draft Ryan.
As a senior in 1965, Ryan had a 19-3 record and led the Alvin Yellow Jackets to the Texas high school state finals. Ryan pitched in 27 games, with 20 starts. He had 12 complete games with 211 strikeouts and 61 walks.
Ryan signed with the Mets and immediately pitched for the Marion Mets in the Appalachian League and for the Mets team in the Florida Instructional League. Overall, he was 6-9 in 1965 with 150 strikeouts in 120 innings.
In 1966, Ryan pitched for the Class A Greenville Mets of the Western Carolinas League, where he went 17-2 with a 2.51 ERA and 272 strikeouts in 183 innings. He was then promoted to the Class AA Williamsport Mets of the Eastern League, where he was 0-2 with a with a 0.95 ERA, striking out 35 batters in 19 innings. Overall, Ryan had 307 strikeouts in 202 minor league innings in 1966, earning a late season call-up to the New York Mets.
In 1967, Ryan pitched three games in relief for the Class AAA Jacksonville Suns, started one game for the Class A Winter Haven Mets and pitched eight games for the Mets team in the Florida Instructional League. In 34 total innings Ryan had 54 strikeouts in 1967.
When Ryan was called by the New York Mets in 1966, he was the second-youngest player in the league. His first strikeout was Pat Jarvis, and he gave up his first major league home run to Joe Torre, a future NL MVP and Hall of Fame big-league manager.
Ryan missed much of the 1967 season due to illness, an arm injury, and service with the Army Reserve; he pitched only 7 innings for the Mets' minor league affiliate in Jacksonville. In the 1968 season, Ryan returned to stay in the major leagues, until his retirement. Ryan was unable to crack the Mets' pitching rotation, led by Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman. Ryan was used more as a reliever and spot starter by the 1969 Mets. To deal with frequent blisters on his throwing hand he often soaked his fingers in pickle brine, although the technique's effectiveness was questioned by Ryan's teammates and coaches.
Ryan pitched well for the Miracle Mets in the 1969 postseason. Against the Braves in the NLCS, Ryan completed a Mets sweep by throwing seven innings of relief in Game 3, getting his first playoff win (it would take him 12 years to get another). Then in the 1969 World Series, Ryan saved Game 3, pitching 2⅓ shutout innings against the Baltimore Orioles. The Game 3 victory gave the Mets a 2–1 lead in the Series, which they went on to win in five games. It would be Ryan's only World Series appearance in his career.
On April 18, 1970, Ryan tied a Mets record by striking out 15 batters in one game. Four days later, Ryan's teammate, Tom Seaver, topped it with a then MLB record 19 against the San Diego Padres (though Ryan would tie this record four years later). Ryan has credited his time with Seaver and the Mets with turning him from just a flamethrower to a pitcher. Contrary to popular belief, Ryan never wanted to be traded from the Mets and felt betrayed by the team that drafted him. His views on this only calmed once he started running the Rangers and gained a better understanding of the business side of baseball.
In five seasons with the Mets, 105 games and 74 starts, Ryan had a 29-38 record, with a 3.58 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, with 344 walks and 493 strikeouts in 511 innings.
|Nolan Ryan's number 30 was retired by the California Angels in 1992.|
On December 10, 1971, the 25-year-old Ryan was traded to the California Angels along with pitcher Don Rose, catcher Francisco Estrada, and outfielder Leroy Stanton for shortstop Jim Fregosi (who would later manage Ryan in Anaheim). The deal has been cited as one of the worst in Mets history but was not viewed as unreasonable at the time. 
In his first season with the Angels, Ryan was given a chance to pitch regularly as a starter for the first time in his career, mainly because by then he had fulfilled his military obligation and no longer had to commute to Houston every other week. He had a league-leading 329 strikeouts—nearly a third more than the AL runner-up, and to that point, the fourth-highest total of the 20th century. Within five seasons, the season would only be Ryan's fourth-highest strikeout total. He also set a still-standing Major League record by allowing only 5.26 hits per nine innings, breaking Luis Tiant's 5.30 in 1968, as well as posting a 2.28 earned run average that year, to date the second lowest in franchise history, trailing only Dean Chance's 1.65 in 1964. Though Ryan's actual winning percentage hovered only slightly over .500, his strikeouts and no-hitters brought him media attention. Meanwhile, Fregosi failed to produce as a Met, making no significant contribution to the Mets' 1973 pennant-winning campaign; he was sold to the Texas Rangers mid-season.
Although the Angels were a sub-.500 team and remained one for much of his time there, Ryan managed to post some winning records, notably 19–16 in 1972, 21–16 in 1973 and 22–16 in 1974 (the 22 wins tied what remains the Angels franchise record, set by Clyde Wright in 1970). He finished 2nd in the Cy Young balloting (losing to Jim Palmer 88 to 62) in 1973. It was the closest he ever came in the Cy Young balloting. Ryan also led the league in losses in 1976 with a 17–18 record (one short of the franchise record for losses). In the early 1970s, many teams used a four-man rotation and expected the starter to complete the game; thus most games Ryan started ended in a decision.
On July 9, 1972, Ryan struck out three batters on nine pitches in the second inning of a 3–0 win over the Boston Red Sox; he became the seventh American League pitcher to accomplish the immaculate inning, and the first (and currently only) pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the feat in both leagues. (On April 19, 1968, he had struck out three batters on nine pitches in the second inning of a 2–1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, becoming the eighth National League pitcher and the 14th pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the feat.)
In 1973, Ryan set his first major record when he struck out 383 batters in one season, beating Sandy Koufax's old mark by one. Remarking on this feat, Koufax joked, "Yeah, and he also surpassed my total for bases on balls in a single season by 91. I suspect half of those guys he struck out swung rather than get hit." Ryan threw two no-hitters in 1973. In the second one, on July 15 against the Detroit Tigers, he struck out 17 batters – most in a recorded no-hitter. (This record would later be tied by Max Scherzer on October 3, 2015.) Ryan was so dominant in this game, it led to one of baseball's best-remembered pranks. Tigers first baseman and cleanup hitter Norm Cash came to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, having already struck out twice, and was carrying a clubhouse table leg instead of a bat. Plate umpire Ron Luciano ordered Cash to go back and get a regulation bat, to which Cash replied, "Why, I won't hit him anyway!" With a regulation bat in hand, Cash did finally make contact, but popped out to end the game.
During a September 7, 1974 game against the Chicago White Sox at Anaheim Stadium, Ryan became the first Major League pitcher to have his pitch speed measured during a game. A primitive radar gun clocked a ninth inning fastball at 100.8 miles per hour (162.2 km/h) when it was 10 feet (3.0 m) in front of home plate. This exceeded an earlier pitch by Bob Feller which was measured at 98.6 miles per hour (158.7 km/h) at home plate and previously thought to be the fastest pitch ever recorded.
Ryan added a third no-hitter in 1974 and a fourth in 1975, tying another of Koufax's records. In 1974 he twice struck out 19 batters, tying Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton for the single-game record for a nine-inning game. Roger Clemens would become the first pitcher with a 20-strikeout game in 1986.
The California Angels finally made the playoffs in Ryan's eighth and final year there in 1979. He started Game 1 of the ALCS and threw seven innings against the Orioles' Jim Palmer, but neither man was involved in the decision as Baltimore won in the 10th inning. Ryan was scheduled to pitch Game 5, but the Angels were eliminated in four. The season complete, Ryan became a free agent.
Ryan led the American League in strikeouts seven times during his eight seasons with the Angels, but he also led the league in walks in six of those years, and finished second the other two seasons: 1975 and 1979. Aside from Bob Feller in 1938, Ryan is the only man since 1900 to walk 200 batters in a season, which he did twice: in 1974 and 1977.
Though Ryan's strikeouts and no-hitters got him considerable media attention, he did not win over Angels general manager Buzzie Bavasi, who dismissed him as a flashy .500 pitcher (Ryan was 26–27 in the last two years he was with the Angels).
In his eight seasons with the Angels, Ryan was 138-121, a 3.07 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, with 1302 walks and 2416 strikeouts in 2181 innings over 288 starts and 156 complete games.
|Nolan Ryan's number 34 was retired by the Houston Astros in 1996.|
In 1980 Nolan Ryan became the first million dollar player when he signed a four-year free agent contract with the Houston Astros for one million dollars per season. The salary quadrupled what he had been making with the California Angels. The normally light-hitting Ryan got his Houston years started with a bang in a nationally televised game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 12, 1980, when he hit a three-run home run off Don Sutton. It was the first of two homers in Ryan's career and produced half of the six RBI he would get that year. On July 4 of that season, at Riverfront Stadium, Ryan recorded his 3,000th career strikeout, the victim being César Gerónimo of the Cincinnati Reds (Gerónimo had also been Bob Gibson's 3,000th strikeout victim, in 1974). Ryan got his third taste of postseason play in 1980, but the Astros were stopped one game short of the World Series.
In the 1980 NLCS versus the Philadelphia Phillies, Ryan pitched well in Game 2, leaving the game tied 2–2 in the seventh (having contributed to both Astros runs with a run scored following a walk, and a sacrifice bunt leading to a run) but again got a no decision in a game that went extra innings. In the fifth and final game of the series, Ryan and the Astros held a 5–2 lead entering the 8th inning. But Ryan allowed three consecutive singles before walking in the third run. The Houston bullpen allowed the Phillies to take a 7–5 lead, and only a game-tying Astro rally permitted Ryan to escape the loss.
On September 26, 1981, Ryan threw his fifth no-hitter, breaking Koufax's mark while becoming the third pitcher to throw a no-hitter in each league. That season, his 1.69 ERA won the National League ERA title.
Facing the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1981 NLDS, Ryan threw a complete game 2-hitter in the opener, outlasting the Dodgers' rookie sensation Fernando Valenzuela. It was Ryan's second and last career postseason win. In the fifth and final game of the series, Ryan left trailing 3–0 and took the loss.
By the end of the 1982 season, both Ryan and Steve Carlton were approaching Walter Johnson's all-time strikeout record, sometimes passing one another's career totals in successive starts. On April 27, 1983, Ryan won the race with his 3,509th whiff, against Brad Mills of the Montreal Expos. (Carlton would reach the same mark two weeks after Ryan, and Gaylord Perry did so later that season.) On July 11, 1985, Ryan struck out Danny Heep for his 4,000th career strikeout.
In 1986, Ryan's Astros faced the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series. Ryan had a shaky start in Game 2, taking the loss. He returned in Game 5, throwing 9 innings of 2-hit, 1-run, 12-strikeout ball, but one of those hits was a Darryl Strawberry home run which tied the game at 1–1, as Dwight Gooden matched Ryan pitch for pitch. Ryan got a no-decision as his Astros lost in 12 innings.
In 1987, Ryan led the major leagues in both ERA (2.76) and strikeouts (270) at the age of 40—but finished 8–16 as the result of extremely poor run support. Despite his .333 winning percentage, Ryan tied for 5th place in the 1987 Cy Young voting. Ryan hit his second and last career home run in a 12-3 win on May 1, 1987, against the Atlanta Braves.
In nine seasons as a pitcher with the Astros, Ryan compiled a 106-94 record in 282 starts, a 3.13 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, with 796 walks and 1866 strikeouts in 1854 innings.
|Nolan Ryan's number 34 was retired by the Texas Rangers in 1996.|
Ryan left Houston in a contract dispute following the 1988 season and joined the Texas Rangers at age 42. He became the first player to play for all four MLB original expansion teams: the Mets, Angels, Houston Colt .45s/ Astros and Washington Senators/Texas Rangers. (Ryan would be joined in this category by Darren Oliver, who made his major league debut as Ryan's teammate in September 1993. Oliver's father Bob had also been a teammate of Ryan's, with the Angels from 1972 to 1974.) In 1989, he went 16–10 and led the league with 301 strikeouts. Against the Oakland Athletics on August 22, Ryan struck out Rickey Henderson to become the only pitcher to record 5,000 career strikeouts. (Following the game, Henderson was quoted as saying, "If he ain't struck you out, then you ain't nobody.") His 4,999th and 5,001st strikeouts were against the same man, Athletics catcher Ron Hassey. Two years later, at 44, Ryan finished fifth in the league in ERA (2.91) and third in strikeouts (203).
In 1990, Ryan threw his sixth no-hitter on June 11 against the Athletics, and earned his 300th win on July 31 against the Milwaukee Brewers. On May 1, 1991, he set a record by throwing the seventh no-hitter of his career, striking out Roberto Alomar of the Toronto Blue Jays for the final out. On August 6, 1992, Ryan had the first and only ejection of his career when he was ejected after engaging in a shouting match with Oakland Athletics outfielder Willie Wilson with 2 outs in the 9th inning.
Before the 1993 season began, Ryan announced that he would retire as a player at the end of that season. On August 4, just before the end, Ryan had yet another high-profile moment—this time an on-the-mound fight. After Ryan hit Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox with a pitch, Ventura charged the mound in order to fight Ryan, who was 20 years his senior. Ryan secured the 26-year-old Ventura in a headlock with his left arm, while pummeling Ventura's head with his right fist six times before catcher Iván Rodríguez was able to pull Ventura away from Ryan. Ryan stated afterwards it was the same maneuver he used on steers he had to brand on his Texas ranch. Videos of the incident were played that evening throughout the country. While Ventura was ejected, Ryan–who had barely moved from his spot on the mound in the fracas–was allowed to remain in the game. White Sox manager Gene Lamont vehemently argued this, leading to his own ejection. Ryan pitched a hitless ball game the rest of the way. He had determined to be more aggressive after coming out on the wrong side of an altercation with Dave Winfield in 1980.
Ryan's arm gave out in Seattle on September 22, 1993, when he tore a ligament. The injury ended his career two starts earlier than planned. Ryan briefly attempted to pitch past the injury, and he threw one additional pitch after tearing his ligament. With his injured arm, his final pitch was measured at 98 miles per hour (158 km/h). Ryan's last start was his career worst; he allowed a single, four walks, and a grand slam in the top of the first without recording an out. It was his record-setting 10th grand slam given up of his career. (Ryan left trailing 5–0, and the fourth walk was completed by a reliever after Ryan's injury, but credited to Ryan.) Greg Myers of the California Angels was the last strikeout victim of Nolan Ryan's career, on September 17, 1993.
Ryan finished his career having played in a major league record 27 seasons. He was the final active player from the 1960s to retire from Major League Baseball, outlasting Carlton Fisk (the final active position player) by three months.
In five seasons with the Rangers, Ryan had a 51-39 record, a 3.43 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, with 353 walks and 939 strikeouts in 840 innings over 129 starts.
Ryan threw a record seven no-hitters during his major league career, three more than any other pitcher. The no-hitters spanned three decades of pitching. In those seven games, Ryan accumulated a total of 94 strikeouts and 26 walks; a ratio of 3.6 strikeouts per walk (his career K:BB was 2.0). Ryan struck out 17 in his no-hitter on July 15, 1973 versus Detroit and walked eight in his subsequent no-hitter against Minnesota, both respective highs for his no-hitters.
|May 15, 1973||California Angels 3
at Kansas City Royals 0
|Royals Stadium||12,205||2:20||Jeff Torborg||Jim Evans|||
|July 15, 1973||California Angels 6
at Detroit Tigers 0
|Tiger Stadium||41,411||2:21||Art Kusnyer||Ron Luciano|||
|September 28, 1974||Minnesota Twins 0
at California Angels 4
|Anaheim Stadium||10,872||2:22||Tom Egan||Art Frantz|||
|June 1, 1975||Baltimore Orioles 0
at California Angels 1
|Anaheim Stadium||18,492||2:01||Ellie Rodríguez||Hank Morgenweck|||
|September 26, 1981||Los Angeles Dodgers 0
at Houston Astros 5
|Astrodome||32,115||2:46||Alan Ashby||Bruce Froemming|||
|June 11, 1990||Texas Rangers 5
at Oakland Athletics 0
|Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum||33,436||2:49||John Russell||Don Denkinger|||
|May 1, 1991||Toronto Blue Jays 0
at Texas Rangers 3
|Arlington Stadium||33,439||2:25||Mike Stanley||Tim Tschida|||
Nolan Ryan's post-retirement business interests include ownership of two minor league teams: the Corpus Christi Hooks, which play in the Class AA Texas League, and the Round Rock Express, a Class AAA team in the Pacific Coast League. Both teams were affiliates of the Houston Astros, for whom Ryan also served as a special assistant to the general manager until selling his interest in the team in the off-season between 2004 and 2005. He became the president of the Texas Rangers in 2008. He became the Rangers' AAA affiliate beginning in 2010; the Hooks are still the Astros' AA affiliate and were purchased by the Astros in 2013 when Nolan's son, Reid Ryan, took office as President of the Houston Astros.
Ryan threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3 of the 2005 World Series between the Astros and the White Sox, the first World Series game ever played in Texas. That game went 14 innings, equaling the longest in innings in World Series history (at 5:41, it was the longest in time). ESPN wryly suggested the Astros might have needed to pull the 58-year-old Ryan out of retirement if the game had gone much longer.
Ryan has co-written six books: autobiographies Miracle Man (with Jerry Jenkins, 1992), Throwing Heat (with Harvey Frommer, 1988) and The Road to Cooperstown (with Mickey Herskowitz and T.R. Sullivan, 1999); Kings of the Hill (with Mickey Herskowitz, 1992), about contemporary pitchers; and instructional books Pitching and Hitting (with Joe Torre and Joel Cohen, 1977), and Nolan Ryan's Pitcher's Bible (with Tom House, 1991).
In addition to his baseball activities, Ryan was majority owner and chairman of Express Bank of Alvin but sold his interest in 2005. He also owned a restaurant in Three Rivers, Texas. He served on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission from 1995 to 2001. He appeared as a TV spokesman for Advil for several years, promoting the pain medication he recommended for his own arm. He also has appeared in various television commercials shown in the Texas market.
After retiring from baseball, Ryan teamed up with the federal government to promote physical fitness. His likeness was used in the "Nolan Ryan Fitness Guide", published by The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports in 1994. Ryan suffered a heart attack on April 25, 2000, and had to receive a double coronary bypass.
In February 2008, the Rangers hired Ryan as team president. After the 2009 season, Ryan and Chuck Greenberg submitted a bid to purchase the Rangers from owner Tom Hicks. At midnight on August 5, 2010, the Ryan/Greenberg group, Rangers Baseball Express, was announced as the winners of the final auction to purchase the Rangers, after final approval from Major League Baseball. The final cash bid to purchase the franchise was $385 million. The opposing high bidder was Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. Greenberg became managing general partner and CEO, while Ryan remained as team president.
Greenberg left the group in March 2011, reportedly due to a philosophical clash with Ryan. Ryan was immediately named as CEO while keeping the title of president. Although Texas oil magnates Ray Davis and Bob Simpson served as co-chairmen and held larger stakes, Ryan became the undisputed head of the franchise, with Davis and Simpson serving mostly as senior consultants.
During the baseball owners' meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona, on March 1, 2013, the Rangers announced that general manager Jon Daniels would add president of baseball operations to his title. Rick George was promoted to president of business operations. Ryan's title was changed simply to CEO, but he remained operating head of the franchise; both Daniels and George reported to him. On October 17, 2013, Ryan announced that he was stepping down as Rangers CEO effective October 31, 2013.
On February 11, 2014, Ryan accepted a position as a executive adviser for the Houston Astros under owner Jim Crane.Previously, on May 17, 2013, Ryan's son Reid Ryan was hired as president of business operations the Houston Astros. The Astros won the 2017 World Series.
Ryan played in more seasons (27) than any other player in modern (since 1900) major league history. Ryan ranks first all-time in strikeouts (5,714), fewest hits allowed per nine innings (6.56), and no-hitters (7). He is also fifth in innings pitched (5,386), second in games started (773), seventh in shutouts (61) and is tied for 14th in wins (324). Opposing hitters hit only .204 against Ryan during his career, though they had a .309 on-base percentage against him. He also limited hitters to a .298 slugging percentage. Ryan had 15 or more strikeouts in a game 26 times, second only to Randy Johnson, who had 28. Ryan's lengthy career spanned generations as he struck out seven pairs of fathers and sons (for example, Bobby Bonds and Barry Bonds), another major league record. Ryan also played during the administrations of seven U.S. Presidents—Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton—equaling a 20th-century record that had been set by Jim Kaat.
Ryan also ranks high on the list for four "negative" records; he ranks first all-time in walks allowed (2,795), first in wild pitches (277), third in losses (292—most in the post-1920 live-ball era), and ninth in hit batters (158). Ryan was the first pitcher in MLB history to give up ten grand slam home runs, including one to Dann Howitt, the next-to-last batter Ryan faced in his career; he has since been surpassed.
Bill James focuses on this dichotomy between Ryan's positive and negative statistics. While ranking him as the 24th best pitcher of all time, he notes, "Ryan has been retired almost ten years [in 2001], in another ten perhaps we will begin to get a little bit of perspective on him. Ryan's log of spectacular accomplishments is as thick as Bill Clinton's little black book; his list of flaws and failures is lengthy but dry, and will never make for good reading."
Other writers have delved more into the specifics of James' general concerns. ESPN writer Rob Neyer stated in a 2003 column that while Ryan was among the 20 best pitchers since World War II, he "often had trouble throwing strikes, [and] he wasn't any good at fielding his position". In another column, Neyer, while stating that Ryan belonged in the Hall of Fame, pointed to Ryan's record-breaking walks total and noted that his .309 on-base percentage against "wasn't even close to being in the top 100".
Ryan and Frank Robinson are the only two major league players to have their number retired by three teams on which they played. The California Angels (now the Los Angeles Angels) retired the number 30 on June 16, 1992; the Texas Rangers retired his number 34 on September 15, 1996; and the Houston Astros retired number 34 on September 29, 1996. His number was the first retired by the Rangers. He is also one of only nine players to have had their numbers retired by more than one MLB team, with Carlton Fisk (Red Sox and White Sox), Reggie Jackson (Athletics and Yankees), Rollie Fingers (Brewers and Athletics), Hank Aaron (Brewers and Braves), Greg Maddux (Braves and Cubs), Frank Robinson (Reds, Orioles and Indians), Rod Carew (Twins and Angels), and Jackie Robinson (All MLB) being the others. Two managers, Casey Stengel (Yankees and Mets) and Sparky Anderson (Reds and Tigers) also had their numbers retired by more than one team.
Ryan was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999, in his first year of eligibility with 98.79% of the vote (491 out of 497 possible), six votes short of a unanimous election and the fourth-highest percentage in history, behind Mariano Rivera (100%, 425 out of 425 possible), Ken Griffey Jr. (99.32%, 437 out of 440 possible), and Tom Seaver (98.84%, 425 out of 430 possible). He chose to wear a Rangers cap for his HOF plaque to reflect his Texas heritage, as well as the fact that his 300th win, 5000th strikeout, and last two no-hitters came as a Ranger. He was the first Hall of Famer inducted as a Ranger. However, the Hall of Fame recognizes the Los Angeles Angels as his primary team.  That year, he ranked 41st on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. He was inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in 2003, and named the Rangers', and Astros' Hometown Hero in 2006—the only player to be so named by two franchises. In 2011, he was inducted into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame.
In 1992 the United States Mint produced a $1 commemorative coin honoring Olympic baseball depicting a pitcher in a USA Baseball uniform, but in a pose nearly identical to Ryan's photo on his 1991 Fleer baseball card. The numismatic community subsequently referred to the coin as the "Nolan Ryan dollar."
The Alvin Independent School District opened Nolan Ryan Junior High School, located at 11500 Shadow Creek Parkway (FM 2234) in Pearland, Texas, just a few hundred yards away from the Nolan Ryan Expressway.
Ryan married his high school sweetheart, the former Ruth Holdorff, on June 25, 1967. Nolan and Ruth attended Alvin High School together. Ruth was a high school state tennis champion. They have three children, Reid, Reese, and Wendy. Reid and Reese were both pitchers for the TCU Horned Frogs. Reid also pitched briefly in the minor leagues. On May 17, 2013, Reid was announced as president of the Houston Astros.
Though he supported Jimmy Carter over Gerald R. Ford Jr. in 1976, Ryan has since been an ardent Republican. In 1996 Ryan campaigned on behalf of Ron Paul in the election for Texas's 14th congressional district; his hometown of Alvin was located in the district.
On April 7, 2011, Todd Staples announced that Nolan Ryan would be his statewide chairman for his exploratory committee for lieutenant governor. Ryan is quoted as saying, "Todd Staples is the top prospect for the Texas Republican Party in 2014." Staples, however, lost out in that race to current Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick of Houston.
| No-hitter pitcher
May 15, 1973
July 15, 1973
September 28, 1974
June 1, 1975
September 26, 1981
June 11, 1990
May 1, 1991
| Texas Rangers President
| AL hits per nine innings
The 1973 Major League Baseball season was the first season of the designated hitter rule in the American League.California Angels ace pitcher Nolan Ryan broke Sandy Koufax's 1965 strikeout record of 382 when he struck out 383 batters during the season.
The Oakland Athletics won their second straight World Series championship in seven games over the New York Mets.
The Kansas City Royals moved their home games from Municipal Stadium to the new Royals Stadium (adjacent to the Chiefs' football facility) and also hosted the 1973 All-Star Game on July 24 with the NL defeating the AL 7–1.
The New York Yankees played their final season at the original Yankee Stadium before the stadium closed for remodeling during the 1974 and 1975 seasons.
On June 19, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds and Willie Davis of the Los Angeles Dodgers both collect their 2000th career hit. It is a single for Rose against the San Francisco Giants while Davis hits a home run against the Atlanta Braves.1983 Houston Astros season
The Houston Astros' 1983 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the National League West.1987 Houston Astros season
The Houston Astros' 1987 season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Houston Astros attempting to win the National League West.1989 Texas Rangers season
The Texas Rangers 1989 season involved the Rangers finishing fourth in the American League West with a record of 83 wins and 79 losses.1999 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1999 followed the system in use since 1995. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and elected three: George Brett, Nolan Ryan, and Robin Yount. The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions and selected four people from multiple classified ballots: Orlando Cepeda, Nestor Chylak, Frank Selee, and Joe Williams.
Brett, Ryan, and Yount—the BBWAA class of 1999—were all newly eligible, as they all played their last games in 1993. It was the first time the writers elected more than two first-ballot candidates since the inaugural class of 1936 (five).
Induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York, were held July 25 with George Grande as emcee.Alvin, Texas
Alvin is a city in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area and Brazoria County. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the city population was 24,236. Alvin's claim to fame is Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who moved with his family to the city in 1947 as an infant and lived there until he moved to Round Rock in 2003. The Nolan Ryan Museum is in the Nolan Ryan Foundation and Exhibit Center on the campus of Alvin Community College.Houston Astros award winners and league leaders
This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Houston Astros professional baseball team.List of Los Angeles Angels no-hitters
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Anaheim, California near Los Angeles. Formed in 1961, they play in the American League West division. Also known in their early years as Los Angeles Angels (1961–65), California Angels (1966–96), and Anaheim Angels (1997–2004), pitchers for the Angels have thrown 10 no-hitters in franchise history. A no-hitter is officially recognized by Major League Baseball only "when a pitcher (or pitchers) allows no hits during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings", though one or more batters "may reach base via a walk, an error, a hit by pitch, a passed ball or wild pitch on strike three, or catcher's interference". No-hitters of less than nine complete innings were previously recognized by the league as official; however, several rule alterations in 1991 changed the rule to its current form. A no-hitter is rare enough that one team in Major League Baseball has never had a pitcher accomplish the feat. Mike Witt threw the only perfect game, a special subcategory of no-hitter, in Angels history on September 30, 1984. As defined by Major League Baseball, "in a perfect game, no batter reaches any base during the course of the game."Bo Belinsky threw the first no-hitter in Angels history on May 5, 1962; the most recent no-hitter was thrown by Jered Weaver on May 2, 2012. Two left-handed starting pitchers have thrown no-hitters in franchise history. The longest interval between no-hitters was between the games pitched by Langston/Witt and Santana, encompassing more than 21 years from April 11, 1990 till July 27, 2011. Conversely, the shortest interval between no-hitters was between the games pitched by Nolan Ryan, encompassing 2 months from May 15, 1973 to July 15, 1973. They no-hit the Baltimore Orioles the most, which occurred twice, which were no-hit by Belinsky in 1962 and Nolan Ryan in 1975. There has been one no-hitter in which the team allowed at least a run. Ervin Santana's no-hitter on July 27, 2011 had an unearned run score on a wild pitch in the first inning, but then Santana settled down and completed his rare feat. The most baserunners allowed in a no-hitter was by Ryan (in 1974), who allowed eight. Six no-hitters were thrown at home, and four were thrown on the road. They threw one in April, three in May, one in June, three in July, and two in September. Of the 10 no-hitters, three have been won by a score of 1–0, more common than any other results. The largest margin of victory in a no-hitter was 9–0 win by Jered Weaver on May 2, 2012. The smallest margin of victory was 1–0 wins by Ryan in 1975, Mike Witt in 1984 and a combined no-hitter led by Langston in 1990.
The umpire is also an integral part of any no-hitter. The task of the umpire in a baseball game is to make any decision "which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out… [the umpire's judgment on such matters] is final." Part of the duties of the umpire making calls at home plate includes defining the strike zone, which "is defined as that area over homeplate (sic) the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap." These calls define every baseball game and are therefore integral to the completion of any no-hitter. A different umpire presided over each of the franchise's ten no-hitters.
The manager is another integral part of any no-hitter. The tasks of the manager include determining the starting rotation as well as batting order and defensive lineup every game. Seven different managers have been involved in the franchise's ten no-hitters.List of Major League Baseball career games started leaders
In baseball statistics, a pitcher is credited with a game started (denoted by GS) if he is the first pitcher to pitch for his team in a game.
Cy Young holds the Major League Baseball games started record with 815; Nolan Ryan is second with 773. Young is the only pitcher in MLB history to start more than 800 career games. Nolan Ryan (773), Don Sutton (756), Greg Maddux (740), Phil Niekro (716), Steve Carlton (709), Roger Clemens (707), and Tommy John (700) are the only other pitches to have started 700 or more games their career.List of Major League Baseball career strikeout leaders
In baseball, a strikeout occurs when the batter receives three strikes during his time at bat. Strikeouts are associated with dominance on the part of the pitcher and failure on the part of the batter.
Nolan Ryan has the most career strikeouts in Major League Baseball. During a record 27-year career, he struck out 5,714 batters.
The parentheses adjacent to an active player denote the number of strikeouts in the current season.List of Major League Baseball single-game strikeout leaders
In baseball, a strikeout occurs when a pitcher throws three strikes to a batter during his time at bat. Twenty different pitchers have struck out at least 18 batters in a single nine-inning Major League Baseball (MLB) game as of 2016, the most recent being Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals on May 11, 2016. Four players have accomplished the feat more than once in their career; no player has ever struck out more than 20 batters in a nine-inning game. Charlie Sweeney was the first player to strike out 18 batters in a single game, doing so for the Providence Grays against the Boston Beaneaters on June 7, 1884. In spite of this, Bob Feller is viewed as the first pitcher to accomplish the feat, since his then-record 18 strikeouts was the first to occur during the 20th century and the live-ball era.Out of the twenty pitchers who have accomplished the feat, fifteen were right-handed and five pitched left-handed. Five of these players have played for only one major league team. Five pitchers—Steve Carlton, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver—are also members of the 3,000 strikeout club. Sweeney has the fewest career strikeouts in the group with 505, while Nolan Ryan, with 5,714, struck out more batters than any other pitcher in major league history. Bill Gullickson and Kerry Wood are the only rookies to have achieved the feat. Tom Seaver concluded his milestone game by striking out the final ten batters he faced, setting a new major league record for most consecutive strikeouts.Of the eleven players eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame who have struck out 18 batters in a game, six have been elected; all six were elected on the first ballot. Players are eligible for the Hall of Fame if they have played in at least 10 major league seasons, and have either been retired for five seasons or deceased for at least six months. These requirements leave two players ineligible who are active, two players ineligible who are living and have played in the past five seasons, and five who did not play in 10 major league seasons.Los Angeles Angels award winners and league leaders
This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Los Angeles Angels professional baseball team.Power pitcher
Power pitcher is a term in baseball for a pitcher who relies on the velocity of his pitches, sometimes at the expense of accuracy. Power pitchers usually record a high number of strikeouts, and statistics such as strikeouts per 9 innings pitched are common measures of power. An average pitcher strikes out about 5 batters per nine innings while a power pitcher will often strike out one or more every inning. The prototypical power pitcher is National Baseball Hall of Fame member, Nolan Ryan, who struck out a Major League Baseball record 5,714 batters in 5,386 innings. Ryan recorded seven no-hitters, appeared in eight Major League Baseball All-Star Games but also holds the record for most walks issued (2,795).A famous fictional example of a power pitcher is Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn from the film Major League, a character sports journalist Scott Lauber once called "the power pitcher everyone on my high school baseball team wished they were". Actor Charlie Sheen performed that role; he had actually played baseball earlier in his life, prior to acting, as a pitcher. Additional, non-fictional prominent power pitchers include Hall of Famers Walter Johnson, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson and Bob Feller. Feller himself famously led his league in strikeouts and walks several times.The traditional school of thought on power pitching was known as "throw till you blow". However, multimillion-dollar contracts have changed mentalities. The number of pitches thrown is now counted by a team's staff, with particular attention paid to young power arms. The care which some of the older power pitchers took with their arms has allowed for long careers and further opportunity after they have stopped playing. For example, player Roger Clemens has remained in the public eye for years.Round Rock Express
The Round Rock Express are a Minor League Baseball team of Pacific Coast League (PCL) and the Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros major league club. They are located in Round Rock, Texas, and play their home games at the Dell Diamond. The team is named for Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who was nicknamed "The Ryan Express." Ryan, along with son Reid Ryan and Don Sanders make up the team's ownership group, Ryan Sanders Baseball.The Express was established as a Double-A team of the Texas League in 2000, the team was replaced by a Triple-A PCL team in 2005. The Triple-A Express carried on the history of the Double-A team that preceded it. The team won the Texas League championship in 2000.Steve Carlton
Steven Norman Carlton (born December 22, 1944), nicknamed "Lefty", is a former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher. He pitched from 1965 to 1988 for six different teams in his career, but it is his time with the Philadelphia Phillies where he received his greatest acclaim as a professional and won four Cy Young Awards. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.
Carlton has the second-most lifetime strikeouts of any left-handed pitcher (4th overall), and the second-most lifetime wins of any left-handed pitcher (11th overall). He was the first pitcher to win four Cy Young Awards in a career. He held the lifetime strikeout record several times between 1982 and 1984, before his contemporary Nolan Ryan passed him. One of his most remarkable records was accounting for nearly half (46%) of his team's wins, when he won 27 games for the last-place (59-97) 1972 Phillies. He is the last National League pitcher to win 25 or more games in one season, as well as the last pitcher from any team to throw more than 300 innings in a season. He also holds the record with the most career balks of any pitcher, with 90 (double the second on the all-time list, Bob Welch).Strikeout
In baseball or softball, a strikeout (or strike-out) occurs when a batter racks up three strikes during a time at bat. It usually means the batter is out. A strikeout is a statistic recorded for both pitchers and batters, and is denoted by K. A strikeout looking is denoted by a ꓘ.Although a strikeout suggests that the pitcher dominated the batter, the free-swinging style that generates home runs also leaves batters susceptible to striking out. Some of the greatest home run hitters of all time – such as Alex Rodriguez, Reggie Jackson, and Sammy Sosa – were notorious for striking out.Texas Rangers (baseball)
The Texas Rangers are an American professional baseball team based in Arlington, Texas, located in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. The Rangers franchise currently competes in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member of the American League (AL) West division. Since 1994, the Rangers have played in Globe Life Park in Arlington. The team's name is borrowed from the famous law enforcement agency of the same name.
The franchise was established in 1961 as the Washington Senators, an expansion team awarded to Washington, D.C., after the city's first AL ballclub, the second Washington Senators, moved to Minnesota and became the Twins (the original Washington Senators played primarily in the National League during the 1890s). After the 1971 season, the new Senators moved to Arlington, and debuted as the Rangers the following spring.
The Texas Rangers Baseball Club has made eight appearances in the MLB postseason, seven following division championships in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2010, 2011, 2015, and 2016 and as a wild card team in 2012. In 2010, the Rangers advanced past the Division Series for the first time, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays. Texas then brought home their first American League pennant after beating the New York Yankees in six games. In the 2010 World Series, the franchise's first, the Rangers fell to the San Francisco Giants in five games. They repeated as American League champions the following year, then lost the 2011 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
In 2018, the Rangers partnered with the KBO League's LG Twins, in business and baseball operations.In 2020, the Rangers will move from Globe Life Park to the new Globe Life Field.Texas State Highway 288
State Highway 288 or SH 288, is a north–south highway in the southeastern portion of the U.S. state of Texas, between I-45 in downtown Houston and Freeport, where it terminates on FM 1495. The route was originally designated by 1939, replacing the southern portion of SH 19.