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).