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Today in Sports History: 4/27 – Nolan Ryan Sets Strikeout Record

Today in sports history (1983), Nolan Ryan sets the record for most career strikeouts in MLB history. Walter Johnson set the record for most strikeouts in 1927. Ryan and Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton were in a race to beat Johnson’s record. Ryan won the race after striking out Brad Mills against the Montreal Expos. Carlton reached Johnson’s total about two weeks later.

Ryan finished his career with 5,714 strikeouts, a number that may never be topped. Nolan Ryan is also noted for walking the most batters in MLB history. In total, Ryan finished his career with a win-loss record of 324-292 and an ERA of 3.19.

nolan ryan sets mlb strikeout record
Credit: Robert Riger/Getty Images

Nolan Ryan Set Record For Most Strikeouts in MLB History

Ryan was one of the most intimidating pitchers in MLB history. He consistently threw fastballs that were over 100 miles per hour. Though, what made him so frighting was that he developed a curveball that he would drop in at mid-80s. While he had the stamina and command to play, he lacked control. Ryan’s fastball would often stray from their path causing many free bases. Due to this lack of control, Ryan has walked over 50% more batters than anyone else in MLB history.

In his career, Ryan played for four teams: the New York Mets, Houston Astros, California Angels and Texas Rangers. Using his devastating fastballs and curveballs, Ryan was awarded eight All-Star appearances.

Ryan also holds the record for lifetime batting average allowed, with .214. Though, the most impressive accomplishment from Ryan is his record for most no-hitters thrown, with eight. He never pitched a perfect game and, believe it or not, he was never a Cy Young Award winner.


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