"One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something." - Nolan Ryan

Prove it.

Aug. 22, 1989 - Nolan Ryan became the first pitcher in MLB to get 5,000 strike outs

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A fan favorite, Nolan Ryan was 42 years old and a 21-year major league veteran in 1989, but continued to deliver consistently powerful pitching. He was 14-7 coming into the game on August 22, with 219 strikeouts, and needed just six more to reach the 5,000-strikout milestone. Rickey Henderson led off the top of the fifth inning with Ryan sitting on 4,999. Henderson, as he did so often in his long career—he retired as the all-time walks leader—worked the count full, fouling off two pitches at a 3-2 count before swinging at and missing a low, 96-mile-per-hour fastball. After the game, Henderson told The New York Times, ”It was an honor to be the 5,000th. As Davey Lopes says, ‘If he ain’t struck you out, you ain’t nobody.’ ”

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"Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have a true opportunity to get the most from your talent." - Nolan Ryan

Change to win.

Aug. 15, 1993 - Nolan Ryan of the Rangers recorded his 324th, and final, career win

Before the 1993 season, Nolan Ryan announced his retirement, effective at the end of that season. In his final victory Ryan pitched seven innings and gave up just one run as the Rangers defeated the Indians 4-1.

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Aug. 12, 1974 - Nolan Ryan of the Angels struck out 19 Red Sox

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That year Nolan Ryan twice struck out 19 batters, tying Tom Seaver and Steve Carlton for the single-game record for a nine-inning game. Roger Clemens would become the first pitcher with a 20-strikeout game in 1986.

"I really felt everything was going right tonight," Ryan said. "I think I got better as the game went on. I don’t think I thought about the record until about the eight or ninth inning.”

July 11, 1985 - Nolan Ryan became the first MLB pitcher to earn 4,000 strikeouts

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The Houston Astros capped the evening by winning a 12-inning war, 4-3, against the New York Mets to end New York’s 9 game win-streak. Nolan Ryan reached the magical 4,000 mark when former Astro Danny Heep swung and missed at a curveball in the dirt on an 0-and-2 count to lead off the sixth. The Astrodome crowd of 20,921 came to its feet after the first two strikes and cheered wildly when Ryan struck out Heep to write a memorable page of baseball history. Ironically, Ryan accomplished the feat against the same team that signed him as an eighth-round draft choice in 1965.

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June 11, 1990 - Nolan Ryan is the oldest player in MLB to throw a no-hitter

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“What makes that one so meaningful was that it came so late in my career and so much time had elapsed between my fifth and sixth,” said Nolan Ryan, the record holder for most no-hitters (7) in MLB history.

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"The two keys for me, are due to the fact that I’ve concentrated so many years on good mechanics of pitching and also I’ve concentrated on being as well-conditioned as possible." - Nolan Ryan

Sept. 22, 1993 - 46 year-old Nolan Ryan pitched his last game

Nolan Ryan's very durable arm finally gave out in Seattle on September 22, 1993, when he tore a ligament, ending his career two starts earlier than planned. Briefly attempting to pitch past the injury, Ryan threw one further pitch after tearing his ligament; with his injured arm, his final pitch was measured at 98 miles per hour. Ryan’s last start was his career worst; he allowed a single, four walks, and a grand slam in the top of the first without recording an out. It was his record setting 10th grand slam given up of his career. (Ryan left trailing 5–0, and the fourth walk was completed by a reliever after Ryan’s injury, but credited to Ryan.) Greg Myers of the California Angels was the last strikeout victim of Nolan Ryan’s career, on September 17, 1993.

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