Originally written October 23, 2011 on The Flagrant Fan:
Nolan Ryan began his pitching career when this writer was ten years old. He didn't finish his career until this writer was 37. Ryan pitched for 27 seasons. And as such, Ryan was a major part of this baseball Fan's formative years. For each of those seasons, his legend grew. By the time he was finished, he was the all time strikeout king. He pitched seven no-hitters. And for a kid who grew up on baseball cards, the back of his card was right up there with Hank Aaron's and Pete Rose's as three of the coolest baseball cards ever with all those stats plastered everywhere. To this day, Ryan's baseball-reference.com page is a favorite destination for its sheer awe power. He spent his first five seasons with the Mets who really didn't know what to do with him. They knew he had electric stuff, but they didn't trust that he could catch the strike zone often enough, and truthfully, back in those days, he couldn't hit the strike zone often enough. But his legend...
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