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Nolan Ryan's 1973 no-hitter was better than Clayton Kershaw's feat

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Clayton Kershaw's no-hitter wasn't as impressive as the no-hitter Nolan Ryan threw with the Angels in 1973

With all due respect to my sensational boss, Mike James, and my esteemed colleague Steve Dilbeck, who are way smarter than I. ... are you guys nuts?

@LATimesjamesWas Clayton Kershaw's no-hitter the most dominant pitching performance ever? Yep, writes @stevedilbeck

Kershaw was brilliant, overpowering, even Koufax-like. But most dominant ever? Let me take you back to 1973 and a certain Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr.

The second no-hitter from the Ryan Express was so impressive that it forced baseball to change All-Star game rules. Ryan had been shunned. The Oakland A’s Dick Williams, the American League’s manager, left Ryan off the roster even though he was leading the league in strikeouts and had tossed one no-hitter already.

Then Ryan took the mound in Detroit on July 3. He struck out 17 Tigers in a no-hitter. Afterward, Major League Baseball allowed the leagues to expand their All-Star rosters from 28 to 29 so Ryan could be included (the National League picked Willie Mays, a last honor in his waning career).

OK, so Ryan walked four batters in that game. Big deal. He was so untouchable that, with two outs in the ninth inning, the Tigers’ Norm Cash brought a leg from a clubhouse table to the plate instead of a bat. Told by umpire Ron Luciano that he could not use it, Cash reportedly said, “Why not? I won’t hit him anyway.”

Cash popped up for the last out.

Kershaw was great. But his no-hitter left him six short of Ryan's total.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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