Today in Sports History [8/15/1993] – Nolan Ryan’s Final Victory
On this day in 1993, Nolan Ryan got his 324th and final victory as the Texas Rangers defeated the Cleveland Indians 4-1.
Before the 1993 season, Ryan announced his retirement. It would be effective at the end of that season. His high point of the season, at least as far as fans are considered, was the on-the-mound altercation on Aug. 4 with Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox.
Ventura charged the mound in order to fight Ryan, who was 20 years his senior. Ryan secured the 26-year-old Ventura in a headlock with his left arm, while pummeling Ventura’s head with his right fist six times before catcher Iván Rodríguez was able to pull Ventura away from Ryan. Ryan stated afterwards it was the same maneuver he used on steers he had to brand on his Texas ranch.
About a month later, however, Ryan’s historically very durable arm gave out. On September 22, 1993, Ryan tore a ligament in his throwing arm, ending his career a couple starts earlier than planned.
Ryan finished his career having played in a MLB-record 27 seasons. He was the final active player from the 1960s to retire from the Majors.