Athletes are definitely celebrities and they have been that for decades. We watch their every step on our screens and root for them, wanting them to win with all our hearts.
In today’s text we will talk about Nolan Ryan, an American baseball player and baseball legend.
Nolan Ryan was born on January 31st 1947 in Refugio in Texas. He grew up in large family and was one of the six children. He was the youngest one of them. His father worked in a newspaper delivery service. Since his father owned the company, he and his siblings had to get up early in the morning and deliver newspapers.
The family lived near Woodsboro but they later moved to Brazoria County. As a teenager, Nolan joined the Alvin Little League Baseball and soon became a member of the all-star team with only 11 years. When he was in junior high school he was able to throw a ball 100 yards and was already a talent.
Nolan was a part of the Alvin High School team and he was extremely successful in almost every game. In 1965 he joined the Minor League and in 1966 he was picked by the New York Mets as the second youngest player in history. In 1972 he transferred to California Angels and stayed there until 1979.
When Dusty Baker, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, was dominated with a third-to-first round, that Saturday, September 26, 1981, the baseball world was shocked once again and the mouths and eyes remained open a few fractions of a second (or complete seconds) of more after the whip concert of the unforgettable right arm of Nolan Ryan.
At 64 years of age, Nolan Ryan was discharged from the hospital in Houston where he was hospitalized for severe chest pains. The pitcher who amazed generations and generations of fans of the “King of Sports”, perhaps, is no longer present first hand among young people today. Simple and simply we must consider that he is a man who retired almost 18 years ago, though, after playing for 27 seasons.
Seeing him was a guarantee of spectacle. Well you can talk about his seven games without hit or race and the 5,714 punches he prescribed and that impress us all, but you can also claim that he gave more bases on balls (2,597) than anyone in history and is third in defeats ( 290) of all time (and first in that department since the 1920’s ball-to-date era).
It can be said that he won 324 victories (14th place) and that he has the record for the fewest hits admitted per nine innings of life (6,555), but also that he only had two campaigns of more than 20 won and that he never won the Trophy. Cy Young
It cannot be denied that three different franchises have withdrawn their uniform numbers (Seraphim, Astros and Rangers), but that only contributed to a World Series title, that of the “surprising” Mets of 1969, when it was not even a stellar of that rotation of openers.
However, Ryan was also a waters part in the history of baseball. When, already wrought as a superstar, in 1979, he was signed as a free agent by Houston and became the first player to get a salary of one million dollars per season. Years later, in 1983, he broke the record of 3,508 strikeouts by Walter Johnson (another legendary “Train”),
It was consolidated as “a marvel without age”, when he left the Astros at age 42 to be signed, in 1988, by the Rangers with whom he wrote even more pages of glory: He reached 5,000 punch (only in history), launched two more games without hit or race (at 43 and 44 years old) and reached 300 wins, all chapters that monopolized the national attention, which transcended the borders of the United States and that managed to win over thousands of fans of baseball
Ryan was a brave man on the mound. He never shied away from rivals and played with everything whether he struck out, walked or hit the opponent, which cost him more than one altercation, being the last at 46, when, after hitting Robin Ventura (20 years younger than him), was attacked by the enraged slugger of the White Sox who waited just below the hill to subdue him by applying a padlock to his neck and hitting him several times with his right hand, image that the newsreels repeated again and again once to the shame of Ventura, who tried against a national institution and who wanted to take advantage of his youth to throw himself into the fray. “The devil knows more as an old man than as a devil”.
Another fact that marked him is that he was the first to play for the four original teams of expansion in the Major Leagues: Mets, Seraphim, Astros (Colt .45) and Rangers (Washington Senators). That way you could spend hours and hours, pages and pages of references to Ryan.
Every amateur of a certain age who has seen Ryan throw has been relieved and happy in a more special way because he has left the hospital and now we wish there is a long life, healthy and without major upsets for “The King of Punch”.
Let’s add the lifetime punches of Vida Blue (2,175), Hal Newhouser (1,796) and Carl Hubbell (1,677) and still have 66 fewer left than Nolan Ryan had on his own.
The king of strikeouts’ career in baseball resembles that of Sandy Koufax, the best fastball and the super powerful curve, the control issues, the failure at the beginning, the success at the end, with Ryan’s longevity marking the difference. Koufax retired at 32, an age when Ryan led the league in strikeouts on the sixth of 12 occasions.
Nolan Ryan was selected by the Mets in the eighth round of the free agent draft in June 1965, when Tom Seaver graduated from USC. In 1969 Seaver was congratulated in the world of baseball after winning 25 games in the regular season; in contrast, Ryan was a relay pitcher with 6 wins and 3 losses, although he saved the third game of the World Series.
When they moved him to the Angels for Jim Fregosi, Ryan flashed once and for all, just like Koufax had done a decade ago. From 1972 to 1974, Ryan had a record of 62 and 48, with 1,079 strikeouts in 943 innings. In a period of 8 days in 1972, struck out 15 Ranchers, 16 Red Sox and 16 Athletics, on their way to win 19 games, 9 of them blanked.
In 1973 he threw even better, he threw no-hit games against the Royals and the Tigers. Despite a calf muscle tear, he struck out Rich Reese for his 383 punch and last of the season, breaking the record for a season in Koufax.
On August 12, 1974 struck out 19 Red Sox to tie the record that had his old teammate Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton. A month later he engaged in his third no-hitter against the Twins. He tied with Koufax when he threw his number four on June 1, 1975, defeating the Orioles 1 for 0. In 1979 Ryan signed with the Astros as a free agent.
Back in the National League, he eclipsed Koufax’s no-hitter record by defeating the Dodgers 5-0, at the Astrodome on September 26, 1981 and led the National League pitchers in that season trimmed by the strike with an effectiveness of 1.69.
In 1983 he broke Walter Johnson’s record of lifetime strikeouts. He signed with The Texas Ranchers after the 1988 campaign for what he anticipated would be his farewell tour, on the contrary Ryan lit the fire.
He added a sixth no-hitter in 1990 on the road against the Athletics and a seventh at home in front of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Nolan Ryan has an astounding net worth of 60$ million. Most of the money comes from various investments and businesses he owns besides his baseball career.
After his extremely successful career, Ryan decided to focus on his retirement and enjoy the days with his family. He is an owner of two minor league teams and he wrote a total of six books on various subjects. He was also a majority owner of the Express Bank of Alvin until 2005.
Ryan got married to his high school love Ruth Holdorff in 1967. They went together to the Alvin High school and fell in love instantly. The couple has three children. Ryan is currently located in Cimarron Hills in Georgetown.
Full name: Nolan Ryan
Date of birth: January 31st 1947
Birthplace: Refugio, Texas
Profession: Professional baseball player
Height: 1.88 m
Weight: 85 kg
Net Worth: 60$ million