January 31, 2011

Happy (Belated) Birthday Nolan Ryan!

Better late than never, right?

On my desk I have a Baseball Hall of Fame page-a-day calendar.  It is full of pictures, trivia and what not.  Today (January 31) featured a quiz...which one of these Hall of Famers does NOT celebrate a birthday today?

Ernie Banks, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron or Nolan Ryan?

I knew the answer right away...Hank Aaron. 

Why?

My friend Payman (you might recognize Payman from THIS) ALSO sprung from his mother's uterus on January 31 and told me late Sunday that he shared his special day with Ryan, Robinson and Banks.

Anyway. 

Out of complete boredom, I was looking up the accomplishments of one Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr. and while there were plenty that I was rather familiar with (the strikeouts, the no-hitters, etc.)...there were some that took me by surprise.

Did you know that Ryan is one of two pitchers in Major League history to give up ten grand slams?

Did you know that Ryan is the only big leaguer to have his number retired by three different teams (California Angels, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers)?

And lastly, did you know that former Cincinnati Reds outfielder César Gerónimo was the 3000th career strikeout victim for both Ryan and Bob Gibson?

Okay, that last one is more of a César Gerónimo fun fact than a Nolan Ryan fun fact, but all that aside...I was not prepared for the following video.

As the story goes...the future Hall of Famer did a guest stint on the aptly named "Ryan's Hope" in September 1975 while injured.

That said, there is really no way to know if it was this three episode arc (or more specifically...those shorts) or that injury that led to Ryan leading the league in losses in 1976.

Uh oh.


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