The Nolan Ryan Express | The Angels years | smackbomb.com/nolanryan

The Nolan Ryan Express -- smackbomb.com/nolanryan

The Angels Years (1971-1979)

It is said that the foundation for Nolan Ryan's Hall of Fame career was laid in California. No one would have expected that the kid with the fastball he couldn't control would work the wonders he worked with the Angels.

Although a bit apprehensive about the trade and the new team, Nolan now realizes that in California was a chance to prove himself. "I look back now," Ryan once said, "and realize that the Angels represented a fresh start." A young team craving experience, the club had no problem letting Ryan pitch and develop, something he couldn't do with the Mets. "I pitched 284 innings my first year with the Angels," Ryan said. "And that almost doubled any year with the Mets."

Ryan flourished, leading the league in strikeouts 7 times, setting the single season strikeout record with 383 in 1973, pitching 4 no-hitters, and leading the team to the playoffs in 1979.

But it wasn't to last. Angels GM Buzzie Bavasi wouldn't meet Nolan's contract demands, and the strikeout king packed his bags for Houston. Angels fans mourned the loss, some completely turning their backs on the team. Following Ryan's 6th no-hitter in 1990, Bavasi sent him a telegram saying, "Nolan, some time ago I made it public that I made a mistake. You don't have to rub it in."

Milestones

  • April 18, 1972 - First Angels' start vs Minnesota Twins @ California
    • 9IP 4H 0R 0ER 8BB 10SO
    • Win
    • Mound opponent - Jim Perry
    • Catcher - Art Kusnyer
  • July 9, 1972 vs Boston - becomes first pitcher to strikeout the side on 9 pitches in both leagues
    • Ties Major League and set American League record with 8 consecutive strikeouts
  • May 15, 1973 - Pitches 1st no hitter
  • July 15, 1973 - Pitches 2nd no hitter
  • September 27, 1973 - Strikes out Minnesota Twins' Rich Reese to establish a Major League record of 383 strikeouts in a single season
  • 1973 - Becomes the first recipient of the American League's Joe Cronin Award for significant achievement
  • September 28, 1974 - Pitches 3rd no hitter
  • June 1, 1975 - Pitches 4th no hitter
  • 1977 - Selected by The Sporting News American League Pitcher of the Year
  • June 16, 1992 - Inducted into California Angels' Hall of Fame
    • Jersey number 30 retired

Articles

Statistics

YEAR   TEAM      GAMES    W    L    S.O.     H    BB   CG  SHO   E.R.A.

1972   Angels       39   19   16     329   166   157   20    9    2.28
1973   Angels       41   21   16     383   238   162   26    4    2.87
1974   Angels       42   22   16     367   221   202   26    3    2.89
1975   Angels       28   14   12     186   152   132   10    5    3.45
1976   Angels       39   17   18     327   193   183   21    7    3.36
1977   Angels       37   19   16     341   198   204   22    4    2.77
1978   Angels       31   10   13     260   183   148   14    3    3.72
1979   Angels       34   16   14     223   169   114   17    5    3.60

TOTAL 8 years 291 138 121 2416 1520 1302 156 40 3.12

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