18 years ago, Nolan Ryan recorded the final win of his 27 year career. Career win number 324 came against Jose Mesa and the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, August 15th, 1993. Ryan pitched 7 strong innings and struck out two batters before turning it over to his bullpen. While 7 innings and 2 Ks doesn’t sound like much, you have to keep in mind that Ryan was 46 years old at the time. But even at 46, Ryan still touched 98 mphs with his fastball.
A member of the exclusive 300 win club, Ryan currently sits tied for 14th on the career win list with Don Sutter with 324 wins. Ryan’s career strikeout total of 5,714 puts him comfortably in 1st place for total strikeouts in MLB history. To put it into context, the 2nd place pitcher, Randy Johnson, has a career total of 4,875, which is 839 less than Ryan. If Johnson matched his career average of 271 strikeouts per season (roughly 8 Ks per game), he would have to pitch in another 105 games (3.1 seasons) to overtake Ryan. Ryan also holds the record for most no-hitters in a career with 7. Upon retiring, Ryan’s number 34 jerseys were retired by the Rangers and Astros, and his number 30 jersey was retired by the Angels. He is the only player to have his number retired by three different teams (except for Jackie Robinson, whose number is retired by every team in the league).
April 27, 1983 would mark the date that Nolan Ryan became the all time MLB leader in strike outs. He would surpass Walter Johnson's record with his 3,509th career strike out on this date.
Ryan would go on to play ten more seasons and would total 5,714 strikeouts.
To celebrate Nolan Ryan's 64th birthday we're sharing this sneak peek of a Rangers mesh bp jersey that will be available this spring.
On September 15, 1996, the Texas Rangers retired Nolan Ryan's # 34. This marked the first, and to this date only former Ranger player to have his number retired.
Ryan played for the Rangers for the final five years of his career, from 1989 through 1993. During his time in Texas he became the first pitcher to record 5,000 strikeouts when he fanned Rickey Henderson on August 22, 1989. He threw two no hitters as a Ranger, one in June of 1990 against Oakland and one in May of 1991 against the Blue Jays.
Here's what Nolan had to say to the fans about his years as a Ranger:
The five years I spent here were five of the most enjoyable years of my career. And a lot of that had to do with how the fans received me here and how they supported me here. I appreciate that and you'll always be special to me."
Ryan is the only player, besides Jackie Robinson of course, to have his number retired by three teams (Texas, Houston and California.) We've been racking our brains to come up with another player who would warrant having his number retired by three different clubs. We haven't come up with anyone. Can you?
New York Jets coach Rex Ryan threw out the first pitch at Citi Field on Tuesday wearing his Mitchell & Ness New York Mets Nolan Ryan jersey.