Lynn Nolan Ryan is a very known and respectable name in the world of American Baseball where he played for decades.
He has played for many superb baseball teams like the New York Mets and Texas Rangers and was one of their most valuable players.
This led to his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame which happened in 1999. and which made him very proud of his life achievements.
During his baseball career, Lynn was known for his highly fast pitches, mostly over 100 mpH. There is not a lot of baseball pitchers who could hold strength like him for years.
His career in baseball was extremely long and is one of the rare baseball players to play in Major League over four decades.
He was born as Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr. on January 31, 1947, in the town of Refugio, located in the southern part of Texas.
He grew up in a very big family, with five siblings, and was the youngest of them. He was learned to hard work from an early age because he often had to help his father Lynn with his work connected to newspaper delivery and to help at home chores. That is why he never had problems with long and hard baseball training.
He was just a little boy when he discovered his love for pitching. He used different objects and threw them to targets which were soon spotted by his parents.
After his father found out his son’s favorite game he decided to learn his baseball and encouraged him to start training it. That way Lynn threw the ball and dis no harm to the family’s possessions.
The family earlier relocated to Alvin, also in Texas, where Lynn joined their Little Baseball League. He was very happy to join the team since he had a lot of energy to spend and he liked baseball the most.
He was nine years old at that time and by his 11th birthday, he joined their all-star team. He was that good and his balls were already so fast that his trainer predicted him a big future in baseball.
He was mostly on the position of the pitcher but he played on various other positions too. He was good at all of them but he liked pitching the most.
After getting into high school he continued to play baseball but even with more passion. He also discovered football and even considered himself a career in it but he later decided otherwise.
It was after he tried himself in football but didn’t like the fact of being severely injured. That is why baseball became his main focus – he liked it and he was safe.
Ryan played baseball for Alvin High School and holds several records from that period. He was noticed by the New York Mets scout in 1963 game at his high school.
In 1965 Ryan’s school made it to the finals of the Texas High School State Baseball championship and was one of their most valuable players.
He was soon drafted by the New York Mets. It was when he finished high school. After pitching for the Marion Mets and Class A Greenville Mets he was promoted to the Eastern League where he entered Class AA Williamsport Mets.
In 1967 he had 54 strikeouts altogether, pitching games in Jacksonville Suns and at Winter Haven Mets.
In 1966 Nolan was in Top 3 youngest players of the league and was very successful but in 1967 was a year he battled with injuries and taking time off to serve in the Army.
In 1968 and 1969 he joined back the Mets in the Major League, mostly on positions of reliever and spot starter.
In 1969 he pitched for Miracle Mets and appeared in the 1968 World series. The Mets won this cup and it was the only time Nolan appeared in the World Series.
In 1971 he was traded by his team to the California Angels which he received very hard and was very unsatisfied by it. One of the reasons he was unsatisfied lied in the fact that he was very emotional but knew nothing about business in sports.
California club gave him the spot of a pitcher and he started playing on that position as soon as he entered the club.
This was the first time in his career that he was given the position of a starter. He did extraordinarily and was the leader of the league with the number of strikeouts.
This brought huge media attention to him. At the same time, Fregosi who took his place in the Mets wasn’t making any significant changes.
In 1972 he made a huge accomplishment by getting the immaculate inning.
A year later, in the following season, he managed to beat a huge record of 382 batters in only one season, beating it with one more batter.
In 1974, the league used a radar gun to measure the speed of his ball and it turned out to be over 162 km/h. Although it was a primitive radar gun it showed how fast his balls can be.
In 1979, Ryan’s team made it playoffs and lost in the end over Baltimore. This led to Ryan becoming a free agent, especially because Angles manager named Buzzie Bavasi was not his huge fan.
In 1979 he managed to sign a $5 million worth contract with the Houston Astros, who recognized his great possibilities. This was a much higher pay than he received in his former team.
He was a pitcher at Astros for nine seasons breaking several records.
In 1989 he was offered to return to Angels and the offer was higher than any other but his wife Ruth was not for that idea and did not want to move again. She was very satisfied with their home and life in Houston and did not want to move kids from school to school anymore.
After Ryan’s contract with Astros ended he couldn’t agree with them on his new contract so he signed to a new baseball team: the Texas Rangers.
He was 42 at that time. After several seasons in which he played very well, he tore his ligament in the fall of 1993. He finished his career in 1993, after playing 27 seasons in the Major League.
Ryan was a great record holder, beating several records during his career. He made 7 no-hitters, which is three no-hitters more than the rest of the pitchers.
He holds 51 total Major Baseball league Records, from 5174 career strikeouts to 757 career stolen bases.
After retirement, Nolan stayed in the world of sports as the owner of two teams, both from the minor league.
On August 4, 1993, there was a brawl between him and Robin Ventura. It was in the match between Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox.
A 46-year old Nolan pitched the ball and it hit a 26-year-old Ventura on the shoulder. Ventura got mad, threw his cap and bat on the field and made a run on Nolan.
However, Nolan is an experienced man who managed to keep Ventura under his arm and gave him several punches in the head.
They were separated by their teammates but Ventura was expelled from the game.
In 1995, a highway near Alvin was named the Nolan Ryan Expressway. Next to the road, a Nolan Ryan Junior High School was opened several years later.
They were named Curious Christi Hooks and the Round Rock Express. He was also working as an assistant to Houston Astros general manager. In 2004 he sold his interest in the team.
In 2008 he became the president of his former club Texas Rangers.
At the 2005 world series, he threw at the ceremonies first pitch because it was the first time that the 1st world series game is being held in Texas.
Ryan always liked to write so he co-authored a lot of books, from “Miracle Man” in 1992 to “Nolan Ryan’s Pitcher’s Bible” from 1991.
In 1988 his autobiography was published. It was titled “Throwing Heat: The Autobiography of Nolan Ryan”.
Ryan was also a good businessman and was one of the owners of the Express Bank before he sold his shores in 2005.
He even tried himself in the restaurant business by managing his own restaurant in a town called Three Rivers.
He often appeared in a commercial for Advil, a pain medication. In 2001 he even made one with his wife in it, both of them playing baseball in the commercial.
In 2014 he became an adviser for the Houston Astros where his son already worked in management. He was there until 2019.
In 2003 he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Texas Rangers which is a huge deal for any baseball player.
In 1967, Ryan married Ruth Holdorff with whom he went to high school. She was involved in sports too – she was a tennis player.
Ryan and Ruth have two sons Reid and Reese and a daughter Wendy. His son Reid was a pitcher in the minor league and the president of the Houston Astros from 2013.
Ryan and Ruth have a great marriage and huge respect for each other.
In 2000, Ryan had a heart attack and underwent an emergency surgery which led to receiving a bypass.
Although he didn’t have a heart attack he had a serious blockage that had to be taken care of as soon as possible.
Full name: Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr.
Date of birth: January 31, 1947
Birthplace: Refugio, Texas, United States
Profession: former baseball player, businessman, author
Height: 1,88 m
Weight: 84 kg
Net Worth: $30 million