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I just don't get it!

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[FONT=Georgia]This is probably going to offend most people, but it needs to be saidÖ[/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia]Whatís all the hype about Nolan Ryan and his Ďlegendí status? Sure, 5000+ strikeouts and 300 career wins, but a legend? I just donít see it. Please, explain to me how on any list of the 5 best pitchers of all-time, Ryan keeps showing up? I just donít get it.[/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia]The stats donít lie:[/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia] His 324-292 record is nothing more than average, as his .526 winning percentage is 516th all-time and worst among the 24 members of the 300 win club. Even Robin Roberts has a better win percentage than Ryan, which puts it in perspective considering Robertís biggest obstacle in getting into the Hall of Fame was his Ďaverageí record.[/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia] Ryan also walked an alarming 2,795 batters in his career, most all-time. Most all-time by a long shot. Steve Carlton is second with [I]only[/I] 1,833 walks, a difference of 962. Ryan also lead the league in walks 8 different times, also a record. Also consider his 277 wild pitches, also a record. Ryan also led the league in walks and hit per 9 innings pitched (WHIP) a record 13 times. Thatís a lot of records people donít like to talk about.[/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia] There were the 8 All-Star selections, but even thatís not all that impressive considering he played 27 seasons. And above everything else, zero Cy Young awards. Iím not saying that a Cy Young Award needs to be won for a pitcher to have a very productive career (see Mike Mussina), but that also means that he was never the best pitcher in the league, not even once. [/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia] Ryan also gave up 3923 hits (42nd All-time), 1911 earned runs (4th) and 321 homers (34th), but since Iím a sensible guy, weíll chalk that up to sticking around for so long. [/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia] Which leads us back to the one stat that will always define Ryan, his record 5,714 strikeouts, a record many believe will never be broken. Thatís a lot of strikeouts, no doubt. Second on the list is Randy Johnson, with 4869, who is still 845 behind the strikeout king. But consider this: Ryanís 9.5 strikeouts per 9 innings is 4th all-time behind leader Randy Johnson (10.6 K/9). So with this in mind, and taking into consideration that Johnson has pitched in 204 less games, itís safe to say that if Johnson [I]could[/I] be challenging Ryanís record if he had pitched in more games.[/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia] So when Ryan was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999 with 98.8% of the vote, I canít help but ask how thatís possible. Thatís a better percentage than Bob Gibson, Warren Spahn and Jim Palmer. His numbers are Hall of Fame worthy, donít get me wrong, but not first-ballot HOF worthy. And all this talk of him being a legend is ridiculous. Ryan was one heck of a good strikeout pitcher, but other than that he was a very mediocre pitcher. The stats donít lie.[/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia] Please, explain to me what you think. I know there must be a few people out there who agree with me, at least a little bit.[/FONT]
[FONT=Georgia]*Disclaimer: I will agree that the Veterans Committee has turned the HOF into a joke. Thatís why members voted in by the BWAA have greater legendary pull. Iím not here to argue those that are voted in the HOF, Iím just here to argue how/why Ryan is considered such a legend. So please, argue about this point only.[/FONT]


  1. hobbyfan's Avatar
    Can you think of anyone else who's thrown 7 no-hitters? Of course not. In this day and age, no one's going to touch that with a 10 foot pole. The 7 no-no's are the tentpole that allowed Ryan to be a 1st ballot election to the Hall.

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