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Facing Nolan


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As good a time as any to post the JoePos chapter on Ryan

as usual with Joe, right on the money

 

https://joeposnanski.substack.com/p/no-70-nolan-ryan?s=r
 

This is what Nolan Ryan was going for every single game. He didn’t pitch for the moment. He pitched for posterity, for history, for ultimate dominance. Randy Johnson and Tom Seaver combined for an amazing 67 three-hitters in their awesome careers. Ryan alone had 69 of them. 

Sandy Koufax and Pedro Martinez combined for an amazing 215 games with 10 strikeouts. Ryan alone had 215 such games.

Every … time … out, Ryan aimed for history. He refused to compromise, to moderate, to take his foot off the throttle even for a second. He could have tightened up his windup so that base-stealers didn’t run on him at will. He wouldn’t do it. He could have spared a couple of miles per hour off the fastball to refine his command. He wouldn’t do it. He could have given in a little and thrown a few more pitches over the plate so not to talk so many hitters. He wouldn’t do it.

No. Nolan Ryan was given great gifts, and he turned them into what is probably still the hardest fastball ever thrown and a curveball that ran away like an angry child, and every game he started he intended to throw a no-hitter. Every game he intended to strike out 27 batter. Every game, he intended to do something incredible, something worthy of his unique talent.

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Posted (edited)

I went last night with my dad (who saw Nolan pitch in high school) and thought it was really well done.  I idolized him as a kid, read both of his books, and knew most of the stories and career highlights but it was still was fun seeing the documentary play all the hits.  

  • They interviewed tons of people, some that I remember and enjoyed:
    • HOFs and HOF adjacent - Pete Rose, George Brett, Dave Winfield, Rod Carew, Pudge, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens
    • Astros teammates - Enos Cabell, Alan Ashby, Craig Reynolds, Phil Garner, Terry Puhl, Mike Scott, Kevin Bass, Jose Cruz, Biggio (cool interview along the railing of the rainbow section in the dome)
    • W was pretty good
    • Jerry Grote, from San Antonio and caught Nolan with the Mets
    • Dorky looking Tom House who dropped the only f bomb in the movie
  • Some of my favorite parts were old video they got from before my time.  Maybe some of this is on Youtube but I've never seen it
    • Highlights from 1969 NLCS when Nolan came on in relief in the 3rd and finished the game
    • Highlights from his first two no-hitters
    • The infamous Norm Cash coming to bat with a table leg during one of the no-hitters
    • The 383rd strikeout - I didn't know that it came in the 11th inning of his last start of the year
  • The move to Anaheim was interesting.  He talked about how he finally learned to repeat his delivery and improve his control there because he had a pitching coach for the first time in his life.
  • Another thing that stood out to me was winning 21 games, throwing 2 no-hitters, and striking out 383 in 1973 and still finished runner-up for the CY
  • They covered him not being able to close out 1980 NLCS game 5 in depth and also the 'Stros losing both games he started in the 1986 NLCS, so that was just great.
  • There was a lot of family stuff that was good too, him and Ruth (UIL doubles tennis champ, holla!) in Alvin and then a family gathering on the river close to Junction.  I assume they have some land out there but anyway they had interviews with all 3 kids and some cute stuff from the grandkids.  
  • The footage from his HOF speech was cool with someone waving a giant Texas flag in the middle of the huge crowd.
Edited by WBT
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21 minutes ago, WBT said:

I went last night with my dad (who saw Nolan pitch in high school) and thought it was really well done.  I idolized him as a kid, read both of his books, and knew most of the stories and career highlights but it was still was fun seeing the documentary play all the hits.  

  • They interviewed tons of people, some that I remember and enjoyed:
    • HOFs and HOF adjacent - Pete Rose, George Brett, Dave Winfield, Rod Carew, Pudge, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens
    • Astros teammates - Enos Cabell, Alan Ashby, Craig Reynolds, Phil Garner, Terry Puhl, Mike Scott, Kevin Bass, Jose Cruz, Biggio (cool interview along the railing of the rainbow section in the dome)
    • W was pretty good
    • Jerry Grote, from San Antonio and caught Nolan with the Mets
    • Dorky looking Tom House who dropped the only f bomb in the movie
  • Some of my favorite parts were old video they got from before my time.  Maybe some of this is on Youtube but I've never seen it
    • Highlights from 1969 NLCS when Nolan came on in relief in the 3rd and finished the game
    • Highlights from his first two no-hitters
    • The infamous Norm Cash coming to bat with a table leg during one of the no-hitters
    • The 383rd strikeout - I didn't know that it came in the 11th inning of his last start of the year
  • The move to Anaheim was interesting.  He talked about how he finally learned to repeat his delivery and improve his control there because he had a pitching coach for the first time in his life.
  • Another thing that stood out to me was winning 21 games, throwing 2 no-hitters, and striking out 383 in 1973 and still finished runner-up for the CY
  • They covered him not being able to close out 1980 NLCS game 5 in depth and also the 'Stros losing both games he started in the 1986 NLCS, so that was just great.
  • There was a lot of family stuff that was good too, him and Ruth (UIL doubles tennis champ, holla!) in Alvin and then a family gathering on the river close to Junction.  I assume they have some land out there but anyway they had interviews with all 3 kids and some cute stuff from the grandkids.  
  • The footage from his HOF speech was cool with someone waving a giant Texas flag in the middle of the huge crowd.

Where did you see it?

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Saw him pitch a game at old Arlington Stadium and then set in the parking lot drinking beer while waiting for traffic to clear. After an hour or so we noticed people streaming toward a lone car in the lot. It was Nolan signing autographs in the drivers seat with Ruth in the passenger seat. Very cool.

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On 4/21/2022 at 1:56 PM, Scraps said:

It was calculated differently back then to now.  How true all this is who knows, but nerds have said that back in the 70s where the calculations were ended up being almost 10% slower than the ball coming out of the pitchers hand.  So when Nolan would throw 100 in 1974....well you do the math. Now when Chapman for the Yankees throws 105 it was calculated at a different point in the throw and is more accurate of the speed coming out of his hand.  

 

Nolan didn’t throw 108 for fuck’s sake. I hope the snow monkeys make an appearance. 

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Buddy of mine and I were at his last start/game at the Kingdome in '93.

Day game on a Wednesday (happened to be the wife's Bday) and our seats were just down the line by the Rangers/visitor's bullpen ( it was on the field  between the foul line and the first row of seats).

Like all the guys say in the movie trailer,.... "ssssssssssss POP!"  That's what you heard from 25' ft away and just a few rows up. Had to be scary in the box against him. 

After facing just a few batters in the first, and feeling a pop against Dave Magadan (leading NCAA hitter in '83 on Bama's runner up team to the HORNS), that was the last batter he ever faced. 

Kingdome crowd (40k +) did Nolan right and gave him a standing O as he left the field.

tipping derek jeter GIF

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Never saw him pitch, but got to meet him in Honduras when he and Gary Carter can to represent the US. They had breakfast at the house. I was allowed to miss school that day. 

WASHINGTON -- Pitcher Nolan Ryan of the Houston Astros and catcher Gary Carter of the New York Mets have been named to the official U.S. delegation headed by Vice President George Bush to the inauguration of Honduran President Jose Azcona.

They will accompany the vice president for the Jan. 27 ceremonies and stay in the country to set up a baseball clinic, Bush's office said.

 

https://www.upi.com/Archives/1986/01/25/Athletes-on-diplomatic-missionsNEWLNUPI-SportsFeatureNEWLNUS-Is-Using-Athetes-On-Diplomatic-Trips/3213507013200/

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Finally watched it tonight as it is now for rent/purchase on Apple TV.  It was fantastic!  The best part may have been "Robin Ventura declined to be interviewed". 

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