Hall of Fame baseball pitcher known as one of the great power pitchers in history and also for his longevity.
Holds major league records for most career strikeouts (5714), most strikeouts in a season (383), most career no-hitters (7), and longest career (27 seasons), among others.
Ryan (full name: Lynn Nolan Ryan; DOB 1/31/47) started his career with the New York Mets from 1966-1971. He pitched in the 1969 World Series for the Miracle Mets. Ryan couldn't have known then that that would be his only World Series appearance in a career that lasted nearly another quarter century.
The Mets traded a young Ryan to the California Angels, where Ryan established himself as a premier power pitcher, striking out 300 batters 5 out of 6 seasons, including a record 383 in 1973. He also had his only two 20-win seasons (1973 and 1974) while an Angel.
After eight years (1972-1979) in California, "The Ryan Express" (as he came to be known) switched teams again, this time to the Houston Astros.
Through nine seasons (1980-1988) in Houston and five more as a member of the Texas Rangers, Ryan continued to rack up strikeouts before retiring in 1993 at the age of 46.
His 5714 strikeouts are more than 1200 greater than 2nd place Roger Clemens.
His 7 no hitters are three more than second place Sandy Koufax. His last no-hitter in 1991 came when Ryan was 44 years old.
He led his league in strikeouts 11 times (American League 9 times; National League twice); was named an All Star 8 times.
On the negative side, Ryan's also the career leader in walks (2795) by a large margin.
Random trivia: Ryan's the only man to have struck out both Hank Aaron and Ken Griffey Jr..
Ryan's career win/loss mark was a modest 324-292, and he never won a Cy Young Award as his league's best pitcher. This is likely because he played for mediocre teams throughout his career. In fact, in 1987, Ryan led the National League in strikeouts and also in ERA, but his poor 8-16 record likely cost him the Cy Young. This was the only time in history a pitcher led his league in both K's and ERA, but didn't win the award.
Ryan also became an ad pitchman later in his career, appearing in ads for Duracell, Nike, and Advil.
Nolan Ryan was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1999.