The Nolan Ryan Express | Cooperstown Class of 1999 | smackbomb.com/nolanryan

The Nolan Ryan Express -- smackbomb.com/nolanryan

Cooperstown Class of 1999

On January 5, 1999, Nolan Ryan, along with George Brett, Robin Yount, and Orlando Cepeda, was forever immortalized with his enshrinement into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. All three players were inducted on their first try.

Nolan received 98.79 percent of all votes cast, second all-time only to Tom Seaver's 98.84%. An article from the Hall of Fame read...

When you talk velocity, Nolan threw the hardest. Nolan threw it down the strike zone harder than any human being I ever saw. In 1973 against the Red Sox, Nolan threw a pitch a little up and over my left shoulder. I reached up for it and Nolan's pitch tore a hole in the webbing of my glove and hit the backstop at Fenway Park.
- Jeff Torborg, former California Angels catcher

Those were the best pitches I ever heard.
- Mickey Stanley, former Detroit Tigers outfielder

Nolan Ryan Hall of Fame plaque at Cooperstown

For most of Nolan Ryan's extraordinary career, the fireballing Texan defined the term "power pitcher." Ryan holds numerous Major League pitching records, including most strikeouts (5,714), most no-hitters (7), most complete games with one hit or less (19), most 300 strikeout seasons (6), most 200 strikeout seasons (15), most 100 strikeout seasons (24), most games with 15 or more strikeouts (26), most games with 10 or more strikeouts (215), and most strikeouts in a single season (383). The "Ryan Express" never showed signs of slowing down and became the only pitcher to strike out 16 or more batters after the age of 40, accomplishing the feat three times. Ryan was the first big-leaguer to strike out nineteen men in a nine-inning game (August 12, 1974) and still holds the modern Major League record for most strikeouts in three straight games with 47. Taking the mound for five seasons with the Mets, eight with the Angels, nine with the Astros, and a final five with the Rangers, Ryan's 27 Major League seasons are the most played by anyone in baseball history. Only Hall of Famer Cy Young has started more games (815) than Ryan's total of 773. He finished fifth on the all-time innings-pitched list (5,387) and is tied for 12th with most career wins (324). The flame-thrower struck out an average of 9.55 batters per nine innings pitched: the highest ratio among any pitcher with 1,500 or more innings pitched. Over his illustrious career, the stingy Ryan allowed opposing batters a meager .204 batting mark and yielded a record-low average of 6.55 hits per nine innings pitched. In the BBWAA Hall of Fame election of 1999, Ryan's 491 votes constituted 98.79 percent of all ballots cast, the second best percentage in Hall of Fame voting history behind Tom Seaver (98.84%).

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[Career Statistics] [The New York Mets Years] [The California Angels Years] [The Houston Astros Years] [The Texas Rangers Years] [7 Career No-Hitters] [5,714 Career Strikeouts] [Records] [Achievements] [Cooperstown Class Of 1999] [Nolan Ryan Baseball Cards] [Quotes] [The Nolan Ryan Story] [Miscellaneous Features] [Books, Videos, & Collectibles]

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