Let us now praise Nolan Ryan. After years of playing with mediocre to terrible teams and being labeled a .500 pitcher by some know-nothings, he now becomes the first man ever to strike out 4,000 batters. Four thousand--20 years of averaging 200 strikeouts. This feat is no less remarkable than Pete Rose's. It isn't Nolie's fault that, unlike Rose, no one managed to get there before him.