"Right-handed pitcher Nolan Ryan is known primarily for his blazing fastball, and his ability to strike out batters" (Frommer 105). Ryan was known as a durable pitcher, who until his retirement, consistantly threw fastballs clocked in the high nineties. He was born Lynn Nolan Ryan, in a little Texas town called Refugio, on January 31, 1947. His great pitching skills, great personanlity, and his show of support fot the game contributed to the affect he had on America. His pitching skills were shown through all his records, including most career strike outs, and most thrown no-hitter games. His personality on and off the field was instark contrast to the new generation baseball players, who seemed to have a "bad boy" attitude toward baseball, and fans, and everything else involved with the game of baseball. His support of the game also help in his afffect on America. Some of the ways he showed his support was through books, the show of his skill, and his elustrious career with four different teams. Ryan's baseball career began early at the age of eighteen, being drafted by the Mets in the eighth round. While with the Mets he won a World Series. His career with the Mets ended in at the end of the '71 season. His first notable records came with the California Angels, his second team. With them he tied the single season record with two no-hitters, he later on broke the record for most no-hitters with seven. And he also set the single season record for strik outs with three-hundred and eighty three strike outs in a season. "Nolan is awsome. His fastball has been clocked at 100 m.p.h., and not a single hitter doubts it" ( Thorn and Holway 60). He went on to play for the Houston Astros, and Texas Rangers, with whom he set the most notable record with career strike outs with a total of 5714. He was changing baseball and America early on with the records he set. Not only his great pitching skill, but he had an ideal personality to add to the affect he had on America. "Ryan has remained delightfully unchanged. Something shines through to make him a national folk hero" (Herskowitz 1). He is one of those guys with an easy going personality. When new player, or rookies look up to the veterans, they need someone worthy of looking up to. "He always had a sense of what's right for him, and he's never been one to be intimidated" (Frommer 53). His personality influenced some of the way the new generation looked at the game of baseball, and helped them realize what they had and appriciate it. He is also known for the way he handled the press. It was said that there were two Nolan Ryan's; the media Nolan Ryan, and the "real" Nolan Ryan. The media gave him another "person" or "personality" by the way they wrote about him, and the way they compared him to other pitchers, and players in Major League Baseball. Most people who new Ryan only new the "media"
from their reading newspapers and magazines. Nolan wrote several books about himself, and pitching, in showing his support of baseball. In other ways he has played in numerous All-Star games, pitched against son Reid Ryan, and help coach his sons Little League baseball teams. In his support of the game of baseball it has influenced more people into watching, and playing the game of baseball. His overall affect on America has been a positive one. He helped with the new generation of baseball players in showing them how to act, and how to show their support for baseball. His records have helped rewrite baseball and its history. The person, Nolan Ryan, and the baseball player, Nolan Ryan, have had a positive effect on America. "Nolan Ryan, a pitcher defined by great numbers, finally got the number that defines great pitcher" (Trujillo 112).