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He’s Not Ready to Say Ryan’s a Young Feller

Nolan Ryan may have won more than 300 games, thrown seven no-hitters and, at age 44, flirted with yet another Sunday night against the Angels.

But he still hasn’t won over one critic.

Bob Feller, the former Cleveland Indian right-hander who was the Ryan of his day, isn’t ready to concede greatness to the Texas Ranger right-hander.

“He’s been around a long time and he has kept up his velocity, but he has been pretty inconsistent in his career,” Feller, 72, told Joe Falls of the Detroit News.

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“He just hasn’t won enough games for the time he has pitched, and the whole object of this game is to win. How many World Series games has he won?”

Feller answered his own question.

“None,” he said. “But then I haven’t won any, either, so that makes us even.”

Not exactly. Feller pitched 18 seasons and finished with a 266-162 record. Now in his 25th season, Ryan is 307-276.

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Add Feller: Feller, who threw three no-hitters and once struck out 348 batters in a season, claims his fastball was twice clocked at more than 100 m.p.h.

“The first time they did it was in 1941 on a street in Chicago in Lincoln Park,” Feller said. “Lew Fonseca, the old ballplayer, was the film man for the American League. He set up two cameras and measured the speed of the ball by the speed of the film.

“What was crazy is that they had me throwing in competition with a motorcycle. They had the motorcycle start up behind me and come racing by. I was supposed to wind up and throw just as it was passing me. I was a little late and he got about a 10-foot lead, but the film showed the ball getting to the plate ahead of the motorcycle.”

Feller said his pitch was measured at 104 m.p.h.

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In 1946 at Griffith Stadium in Washington, he said one of his pitches was clocked at 107m.p.h.

Trivia time: Ryan, with 116 strikeouts already this season, is the second oldest player toget at least 100. Name the oldest.

Oops Dept.: Describing a new Bo Jackson commercial that will make its debut on tonight’s All-Star game telecast, the Associated Press reported: “ ‘The Bo Show,’ which includes a closing cameo by George Foreman, opens with Jackson as a tuxedo-clad, Vegas-style lounge singer surrounded by gyrating chorus girls wearing Chicago White Sox and Oakland Raider uniforms.”

Oakland Raiders?

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Does AP know something Bo doesn’t know?

Sinking four in a row: Detroit Piston center Bill Laimbeer blew a two-shot lead on the final hole of a celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe, enabling former pitcher Rick Rhoden to catch him.

Rhoden won the $75,000 first prize on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff with a birdie.

Laimbeer hit his third shot on the playoff hole into the water. He took three additional shots and put each one right back into the water.

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And he couldn’t even claim he had been fouled.

Trivia answer: Phil Niekro had 149 strikeouts for the New York Yankees in 1985 at age 46.

Quotebook: Catcher Rick Cerone describing the art of blocking the plate to the New York Times: “I don’t know if fear is the right word. You have to anticipate the hit. You have to stay stationary. You have to know who is coming. . . . I guess fear is the right word.”


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