In 1991, Nolan Ryan and Rickey Henderson set new MLB records on the exact same day
On this day in baseball history -- May 1, 1991, in particular -- baseball fans witnessed not just one spectacular achievement, but two. Rickey Henderson broke Lou Brock's record with his 939th stolen base and Nolan Ryan -- in his age-44 season no less -- threw his seventh and final no hitter. No other pitcher has more than four.
Let's start with Henderson because his achievement occurred first. Just two games prior, on April 28, 1991, Henderson tied Brock's record with his 938th stolen base against the California Angels.
After being caught stealing in the first inning of the May 1 game against the Yankees, Henderson took another shot at sole possession of the stolen base record in the bottom of the fourth inning. The result, we can properly say, is history.
Not to be overshadowed, 44-year-old Ryan took the mound that evening against the Blue Jays looking to make history of his own. He already had the most no-hitters of any pitcher in history with six and, thanks to his start on June 11 of the previous season, was also the oldest pitcher in history to throw a no-hitter.
On May 1, 1991, Ryan recorded his seventh no-hitter and, at 44 years and 90 days of age, upped his previous record as the oldest pitcher to throw one. He did it in typical Ryan fashion with 16 strikeouts. Only two walks -- in the first and seventh innings -- prevented this from being his first career perfect game.
So, as this baseball season enters its second month, let's all take a moment and bask not only in the joy of spring baseball, but in Henderson and Ryan's historic performances of 26 years ago. We may never see a day like that again.