Saturday, March 22, 2008

1989 Bowman - Nolan Ryan

#225 in the 1989 Bowman set is perhaps the most well-known pitcher in Rangers' history. I figured that this card was appropriate for Nolan's debut on this blog because the card is bigger than a normal one and Ryan was bigger than life when he was playing.

Nolan signed with Texas prior to the 1989 season. When he signed there were two schools of thought concerning the move. One was that the Rangers had just pulled off a real coup. The other was that the move was nothing more than a publicity stunt. To tell the truth both were correct to one degree or another.

Nolan never helped Texas get to the post-season. He did help them win games and draw crowds. Pitching his 300th win, 6th and 7th no hitters, and 5,000 strikeout in Rangers blue spurred attendance to incredible numbers. He was the toast of baseball and pulled the Rangers along with him. Fans packed the stadiums to see him pitch and new fans were drawn to the Rangers. It would appear that though Nolan never pitched in October for Texas he gave them the grist to get there only a few years after he retired.


--David said...

Ryan was one of those guys that could play anywhere and instantly show an increase in ticket sales! The big question, of course: Who is the 'next Ryan?'

Spiff said...

Good question. I am not sure that there is one at this stage. One will come along but we won't know it until he gets half-way or more through his career.