Jeff Walters

Nolan Ryan Trivia

With a fast ball that seemed to never wane after 27 seasons, combined with a knee-buckling curve, Nolan Ryan was among the very few pitchers batters didn't want to face. As said by two-time National League MVP Dale Murphy

“the only pitcher you start thinking about two days before you face him.”

He was an illustrious player with one of the longest and most fruitful careers in MLB history.  He holds the record for most no-hitters, at 7 almost doubling the next highest, which was Sandy Koufax at 4. He holds the record for most strikeouts at 5,714, almost 1,000 more than the "Big Unit" Randy Johnson, at 4,875. Clearly, a player well deserving of being in the Hall of Fame.

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The more he played, the more fans loved him...so with that being said, how much of a Nolan Ryan fan are you?

Can you answer all of the below trivia questions?

 

Which high school did Nolan Ryan go to?

 

alvin high ryan1


Nolan Ryan graduated from Alvin High School in 1965 and was immediately drafted by the New York Mets.

He started off pitching for the Marion Mets in the Appalachian League and for the Mets team in the Florida Instructional League. He would eventually be promoted to the Class AA Williamsport Mets of the Eastern League. Overall, Ryan had 307 strikeouts in 202 minor league innings in 1966, earning a late-season call-up to the New York Mets.

When Ryan was called up by the New York Mets in 1966, he was the second-youngest player in the league. An interesting fact is that he started-off his career as one of the youngest players and ended as one of the oldest at 46 years.

 

Which of these famous players has more wins than Nolan Ryan?

4 players

 

Roger Clemens has more wins than Nolan Ryan. More specifically, Clemens had 354 wins throughout his career, 30 more than Ryan at 324. On the other hand, Clemens had reached 4,672 strikeouts, while Ryan blew that out of the water with a massive 5,714. Career-wise, Ryan also has 3 seasons on Clements with a massive 27 seasons vs 24. Both players had a very impressive career and continued to play until their mid, to late, 40s. Clemens threw his last pitch at 44 years of age, while Ryan played his last game at 46.

What year was Nolan Ryan inducted into the Hall of Fame

Ryan Nolan Plaque HOF

Ryan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999 along with Robin Yount, Nestor Chylak, Joe Williams, Frank Selee, George Brett, and Orlando Cepeda.

What is even more impressive is that he was a first-ballot  induction at 98.8%. This is just behind Derek Jeter who was inducted in 2020 with a 99.7% and Mariano Rivera, who entered the Hall of Fame in 2019 with a unanimous 100% vote. 

 

True or False: Nolan Ryan has had the longest career of any (post-war) MLB players

 

young v old nolan ryan


Nolan Ryan currently holds the record for longest career of any (post-war) MLB player. Starting in 1966 and lasting until 1993, his career spanned a massive 27 seasons.

During his time in the sport, he managed to wrack up 324 wins and 5714 strikeouts. Now, if we stretch out those numbers over 27 seasons, there is no doubt he was a good player, but the numbers don't seem "overly impressive." However, how many players have been able to sustain constant performance and decent stats for the amount of time he did? Definitely a great feat from an undoubtedly great MLB player.

 

Who does Nolan Ryan share his 1968 Rookie card with?

1968 topps nolan ryan rookie 177

Nolan Ryan shares his 1968 Topps rookie card with fellow pitcher Jerry Koosman, a characteristic share by most rookie cards of the era. Because of this, the card is aligned horizontally, which does decrease display appeal slightly. Despite these notable “negatives” however, demand for the card continues to soar to this day, making finding a high graded Nolan Ryan rookie extremely hard.

Out of over 10,000 cards submitted for grading, only 1 has ever been a PSA 10. This particular Nolan Ryan rookie sold for $600,000 during the Goldin Elite Auction Session 2, in August, 2020.


True or False: The most expensive PSA 10 Nolan Ryan card ever sold was the 1973 Topps Nolan Ryan.

1973 topps nolan ryan 220

The most expensive Nolan Ryan card ever sold was actually his 1968 Topps rookie, although the 1973 Topps Nolan Ryan is definitely worth a good amount. With over 3,700 cards graded, only 6 have ever been PSA 10’s. The popularity, rarity, and appeal of this card certainly can drive prices up, with the highest price paid being $28,644 in 2009 during the Mile High Card Company October Auction.

Picturing Nolan Ryan about to pitch during his second year in the Angels, this card is among the most liked cards of the pitcher. Everything from the crisp image, to the pose, the card has a very clean and appealing design. The 1973 card layout is also among our favorites of the hobby.



Nolan Ryan’s first major record was set in 1973. How many players did he strike-out to set this record?

Ryan-Nolan 1973

Nolan Ryan’s first major record was set in 1973 when he struck out 383 batters in one season, beating Sandy Koufax’s 382 record by 1. Koufax jokingly remarked "Yeah, and he also surpassed my total for bases on balls in a single season by 91." Ryan would continue to dominate that year, with 2 no-hitters, the second of which happened on July 15 against the Detroit Tigers setting another record with 17 struck out batters.

 

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1970 Topps Baseball: Everything You Want To Know

1971 Topps Baseball: Everything You Wanted To Know

A Look Back At The 1986-87 Fleer Basketball Set

1989 Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie: The Improbable Foresight of Upper Deck

Ichiro Suzuki Rookie: What is the value of "Once in a Lifetime Cards?"

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