I’m a writer who is partial to pitchers – first was Sandy Koufax and the current is Johan Santana. I don’t have any reason for my choices or maybe it’s just that most of these guys strive for perfection from themselves – hoping that the rest of the team is paying attention.
Some pitchers rule the mound and defy you to make a move toward them — that was Bob Gibson, Tom Seaver, Pedro Martinez and Tug McGraw. Whitey Ford was a Yankee gentleman off the mound and on it – but he won, and often. Jim Palmer was a bit like Whitey.
I also try to keep track of what these men do after they leave the life of the ballpark. Many get into charities for children or stay and work with the upcoming pitchers on their team.
Others get into interesting and unusual work, like Tom Seaver who moved to Northern California and has a winery. He’s a hands-on person who treats those vines as family.
Jim Palmer moved across the stadium into the broadcast booth where he is just as smooth as he was on the mound.
And Pedro Martinez is in the Dominican Republic where his Mom still lives and he is trying to create some modern amenities for the families who live there and also provide some baseball fields and equipment for the kids.
But today I’d like to talk a bit about Nolan Ryan – who, in many ways – has never left the mound.
Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr. (born January 31, 1947) is a former MLB pitcher and current president and owner of the Texas Rangers.
Ryan played in a major league record 27 seasons for the New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers from 1966 to 1993. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.
Ryan, a hard-throwing right-handed pitcher, threw pitches that were regularly recorded above 100 mph even past the age of 40. The media tagged him as “The Ryan Express”
While his lifetime winning percentage was a relatively pedestrian .526, Ryan was an eight-time MLB All-Star, and his 5,714 career strikeouts rank first in baseball history. He leads the runner-up, Randy Johnson by 839 strikeouts.
Ryan is the all-time leader in no-hitters with seven, three more than any other pitcher. He is tied with Bob Feller for most one-hitters, with 12. Ryan also pitched 18 two-hitters.
Now a Headline from Today’s New York Times Sports Section by Richard Sandomir:
This is in reference to the purchase of the bankrupt Texas Rangers by Nolan Ryan and his associates after lengthy legal proceedings.
Good Luck, Nolan
Not that you’ll need it – Aquarians are noted over-achievers.