Nolan Ryan Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: January 31, 1947 in Refugio, Texas
Biography | show moreshow less
Full name Lynn Nolan Ryan
Born January 31, 1947, Refugio, Texas
First Game: September 11, 1966; Final Game: September 22, 1993
Bat: Right Throw: Right Height: 6' 2" Weight: 170

Selected to the Hall of Fame in 1999
Named AL Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News (1977)
Named right-handed pitcher on The Sporting News AL All-Star Team (1977)

This article was written by Talmadge Boston and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research
Nolan Ryan has more strikeouts and no-hitters than any other pitcher in history. Despite never winning a Cy Young Award, he started more games than anyone except Cy Young. Though he played mostly for mediocre teams, his 324 wins are as many as contemporary Don Sutton, who pitched for four pennant winners and just missed a fifth. Yet Ryan's dominance—his 5,714 strikeouts were 2,000 more than Sutton and 1,500 better than Steve Carlton, whom he once trailed in the all-time K race—puts The Ryan Express head and shoulders above almost any other pitcher since 1970. His longevity—winning a strikeout crown and throwing a no-hitter while being the oldest player in the game at the age of 43—makes him the stuff of legend. And in one day in 1971, Ryan's change of coasts became the best trade the California Angels ever made and the worst deal in New York Mets history. He may have walked more batters and thrown more wild pitches than anyone else in the game's history, but that just proved he was human.

Born on January 31, 1947, in Refugio, Texas, Lynn Nolan Ryan was the son of Robert Ryan and Martha Lee Hancock Ryan (a descendant of John Hancock, first signer of the Declaration of Independence). The youngest of six children, he had a brother and four sisters. The Ryans moved from Refugio to Alvin, Texas, when Nolan was six weeks old because his father was transferred to the Alvin area. His father was plant supervisor at Hastings plant for Stanton Oil Company, which became Pan American Petroleum.

Nolan began playing baseball at seven with his father in their front yard. From there, the boy decided on his own that he loved playing the game and he started playing on a nearby vacant lot, where neighborhood kids built a diamond. Little League baseball had only recently come to Alvin, and it soon provided the official start to Nolan Ryan's career at Schroeder Field, where he became an all-star for the first time.

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