5 moments when Nolan Ryan was the baddest man in baseball
Nolan Ryan pitched in four different decades, tossed seven no-hitters and set an MLB record with 5,714 strikeouts. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999 with more than 98 percent of the vote.
In celebration of Ryan's 67th birthday, let's take a look at several of his most memorable moments on the diamond. There's no shortage to choose from, but here are a few favorites:
July 15, 1973 -- Ryan's second no-hitter
Ryan's second no-no, which came two months to the day after his first, was among his most dominant performances: 17 strikeouts in a 6-0 victory over Detroit
April 27, 1983 -- Ryan sets Major League strikeout record
Ryan broke Walter Johnson's all-time strikeout record in 1983 -- a full 10 years before he retired. He still holds the mark today and likely will for the foreseeable future. Randy Johnson retired in second place, 839 K's short of Ryan's 5,714, and CC Sabathia leads all active pitchers with 2,389.
August 22, 1989 -- Ryan notches 5,000th K
Of course, Ryan had to pass 5,000 K's before he could get to No. 5,714. That milestone came in 1989 against Oakland, with Ryan whiffing 13 and allowing just two runs in a complete game. Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire featured in an A's lineup along with the man who ultimately fell victim to Nolan's 5,000th: Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson.
May 1, 1991 -- Ryan's seventh and final no-hitter
Ryan's final no-hitter just might have been his best. He tore through a Blue Jays lineup that would go on to win 91 games, striking out 16 and walking just two. The Ryan Express was 44 years old at the time.
August 4, 1993 -- The Nolan Ryan-Robin Ventura fight
One of baseball's most infamous brawls began with a 46-year-old Ryan putting 26-year-old White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura in a headlock. It ended with Ventura sitting out a two-game suspension.
Obviously, there are many more moments that capture the brilliance of Nolan Ryan. But those are a few to get the discussion started. Does one of these stand out? Do you have another favorite? Let's hear 'em - either leave your favorites in the comments, or record a video response below.