Even if he doesn’t have an incredibly low career ERA, the totals he amassed as a pitcher are unparalleled in the game.
July 11 is a day of celebration for his fans: 37 years ago, Ryan achieved something that no other pitcher in baseball had been able to accomplish before.
“OTD in 1985, Nolan Ryan became the first pitcher in MLB history to reach 4,000 career strikeouts,” Fox Sports MLB tweeted on Monday afternoon.
OTD in 1985, Nolan Ryan became the first pitcher in MLB history to reach 4,000 career strikeouts 🔥
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) July 11, 2022
The tweet also included a short clip of the moment: Ryan was wearing the Houston Astros uniform at the time.
With 106.7, Ryan is sixth on the all-time WAR list among hurlers.
WAR means Wins Above Replacement and is a tool that helps us understand how much a player, in this case a pitcher, contributed to his team’s success in a specific year or over the course of his whole career.
A Top Pitcher With Some Unbreakable Records
Only five pitchers achieved a higher WAR than Ryan.
Nobody struck out more hitters than him, though.
He fanned 5,714 hitters in his long MLB tenure, one that started in 1966 and ended in 1993.
It’s one of those records that looks incredibly unlikely to be broken.
Ryan pitched in four decades: the sixties, the seventies, the eighties, and the nineties.
He retired with a 324-292 record and a strong 3.19 ERA.
A member of the Hall of Fame since 1999, Ryan won the 1969 World Series with the Mets and had 11 strikeout crowns.
He was never the Cy Young award winner of his league, but was always among MLB’s best pitchers year in and year out.
His seven career no-hitters are also hard to surpass for today’s standards.
All in all, it’s a nice day to remember the Ryan Express.