July 26, 1999 |
This was not an assignment, it was a pilgrimage, as I have been slouching toward Cooperstown for 25 years in rapt anticipation of this day. I would have hopped a freighter to get here, rode side hatch on a Harley. In fact, it almost came to that Friday after my flight to Albany was canceled. I thought it the perfect metaphor, this edge-of-my-seat anxiety mirroring all those bases-loaded, 3-and-2 counts Nolan Ryan put me through.
July 25, 1999 |
George W. Bush arrived for the Hall of Fame news conference Saturday wearing a suit and tie. Nolan Ryan wore a golf shirt, having just come off the course. "The difference in the way we're dressed is the difference between someone who doesn't need work," Bush said, nodding at Ryan, "and someone who is looking for work." Actually, Bush is still employed as governor of Texas, but he is campaigning for the Republican presidential nomination.
July 22, 1999 |
What: "Goin' Deep" When: Sundays, 9 p.m., Fox Sports West This one-hour weekly magazine show that is televised nationally on Fox Sports Net and seen locally on Fox Sports West began its third season last Sunday, and the quality continues to improve. Because it is a weekly show, it is always topical. The host, Chris Myers, is one of best interviewers in the business, and the production staff headed by John Terenzio and H. Read Jackson is a good one. It's a combination that works well.
July 21, 1999 |
Given the work ethic that enabled him to pitch for 27 years in the major leagues, it is not surprising that Nolan Ryan is retired in name only. At 52, five years after he ended his remarkable career, the power pitcher has become something of a power broker: Part banker, philanthropist, rancher, minor league owner, major league team advisor, government official, restaurant owner and heavily recruited product endorser.
July 18, 1999 |
A larger-than-life-sized poster of Nolan Ryan greets visitors at the museum entrance. A few feet away, he describes himself in large red type on the wall. "I know who I am. I'm a country kid from Texas with the ability to throw a ball and the dedication to keep myself in shape. I'm just a man." It's easily the most understated comment about the soon-to-be Hall of Fame pitcher at the Nolan Ryan Museum. No one else would dare call him "just a man."
January 24, 1999 |
Be like Mike? Some people think Lee Kealon is Mike. The bald, 6-foot-6-inch resident of Wilmington, N.C., turns heads on city streets, draws autograph-seekers on the golf course and, when spotted in his BMW, has to speed away from fooled fans of former Chicago Bull star Michael Jordan. Last week, his looks even fooled a Wilmington television station. It mistakenly used a photograph of Kealon in a newscast about Jordan's retirement.
January 6, 1999
Nolan Ryan at a Glance REGULAR SEASON *--* Year, Team W L SO ERA 1966, NYM 0 1 6 15.0 1968, NYM 6 9 133 3.09 1969, NYM 6 3 92 3.54 1970, NYM 7 11 125 3.41 1971, NYM 10 14 137 3.97 1972, Cal 19 16 329 2.28 1973, Cal 21 16 383 2.87 1974, Cal 22 16 367 2.89 1975, Cal 14 12 186 3.45 1976, Cal 17 18 327 3.36 1977, Cal 19 16 341 2.77 1978, Cal 10 13 260 3.71 1979, Cal 16 14 223 3.59 1980, Hou 11 10 200 3.35 1981, Hou 11 5 140 1.69 1982, Hou 16 12 245 3.16 1983, Hou 14 9 183 2.98 1984, Hou 12 11 197 3.
January 6, 1999 |
The little boy has rubber footballs, roller-blades and a neat Cub Scout cap and kerchief. Yet all he wants to do is play catch. Nobody in his immediate family has played it in 25 years, or has season tickets, or watches it regularly on TV, or talks about it at home. Yet on Christmas the little boy scrambled outside to pitch in church clothes and mud. At which point his bewildered mother asked: "What exactly is it about him and baseball?"
January 5, 1999 |
George Brett's pine-tar bat is in the Hall of Fame. So are Nolan Ryan's caps from his seven no-hitters. So is Robin Yount's helmet from his 3,000th hit. By summer, bronze plaques honoring all three players might be on display too. Results from one of the most eagerly awaited elections in Hall history will be announced today, with Ryan, Brett and Yount hoping to get the call from Cooperstown. "If that happens, it will be the final thing that wraps up my career," Ryan said during the weekend.