Nolan Ryan impressed Major League Baseball fans in more ways than one. Was it because he was throwing a mid- 90s fastball while he was 46 years old? Yeah. Was it because of his 324 wins, 3.19 career ERA, and MLB record 5,714 strikeouts? Hell yeah. The most impressive part of Nolan Ryan’s MLB career was his seven no-hitters, another record. How hard is it to throw a no-hitter? Let’s put it into perspective by looking at the 2000 season to the 2009 season.
During this time, 162 games were played by each team, each year, which equals approximately 48,600 games over that ten-year span. During that time period, 20 no-hitters were thrown. For all of you stat freaks out there, that means that between 2000 and 2009, only .0412% of games included a no-hitter. That’s pretty insane. Only 19 active pitchers have thrown a no-hitter, with Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, and Mark Buehrle being the ones that have thrown two.
The pitchers who have three or more career no-hitters are as follows:
- Nolan Ryan: 7
- Sand Koufax: 4
- Larry Corcoran: 3
- Bob Feller: 3
- Cy Young: 3
This is a very exclusive club, much more so than most offensive categories. Records set for hits, home runs, RBI, walks, etc. are much different than throwing a no-hitter because hitters have more than one opportunity to build up their totals. Whereas for pitchers, they have to continue to dominate the opposition and not allow any hits for all nine innings and 27 outs. That’s really hard to do and the fact that Nolan Ryan did this seven times is a feat that I don’t think will ever be matched.