Whats cooler than having your fastball clocked by Rockwell scientists, or telling Reggie Jackson before an at-bat he was getting nothing but fastballs, or throwing 234 pitches in one game? Ryan was from Texas, and he came to the California Angels in 1972 via trade with the New York Mets. Yet, it was in eight glorious, if not erratic, seasons in Anaheim that he put down his Hall-of-Fame foundation. Ryan, ever so humble, broke many of Koufaxs records without ever stepping on Sandys accomplishments. Ryan was cool because of his 100-mph heater, but also because he never whined about weak-hitting Angel teams that cost him 27-win seasons. Ryan never won the Cy Young Award because pundits said he was a .500 pitcher. Seattles Felix Hernandez won last year with a record of 13-12. Only Nolan Ryan could be cool with that.
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