Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Nolan Ryan is a Hall of Fame pitcher -- and with great reason. While his lifetime winning percentage was .526, Ryan was an eight-time MLB All-Star, and his 5,714 career strikeouts rank first in baseball history by a significant margin.[1] He leads the runner-up, Randy Johnson, by 839 strikeouts. Similarly, Ryan's 2,795 bases on balls lead second-place Steve Carlton by 962—walking over 50% more hitters than any other pitcher in MLB history. Ryan, Pedro Martínez, Randy Johnson, and Sandy Koufax are the only four pitchers inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame who had more strikeouts than innings pitched. Other than Jackie Robinson (whose number was retired by the entire MLB), Ryan is currently the only major league baseball player to have his number retired by at least three different teams: the Angels, Astros, and Rangers. Ryan is the all-time leader in no-hitters with seven, three more than any other pitcher. He is tied with Bob Feller for the most one-hitters, with 12. Ryan also pitched 18 two-hitters. 

What you might know know is that through his first five seasons with the New York Mets his record was only 29-38.  No one in major league baseball had a more talented arm or could throw the ball harder, but talent is never enough if you are interested in being the best.  

Here is how Ryan explained is process of improvement in "Good Leaders Ask Great Questions" by John Maxwell:

"All I knew was to throw as hard as I could for as long I could.  Early in my career in the big leagues, when I would get in trouble I would resort back to that mindset.  Finally, after being unsuccessful with the approach -- I learned that when I was just throwing hard I was throwing wild and walking guys and losing games -- it finally dawned on me.  If I didn't make an adjustment or change, then I was going to be one of those players who was very gifted, but didn't make a lot out of it...A lot of people get here with the God-given ability, the gift that they received.  But to stay here and have a lengthy career takes a commitment to make sacrifices that most won't continually make.  Talent may get your here, but it takes work, real work, to stay here, and it takes development of the mental side of your game to separate yourself on this level."