Today In Sports History- Nolan Ryan’s 2nd No-Hitter
July 15, 1973 - Nolan Ryan (California Angels) became the first pitcher in two decades to win two no-hitters in a season.
Exactly 2 months after his 1st ‘No-No’, Ryan did it again versus Detroit. The second showing was a little more dominant than his first no-hitter, with Ryan striking out 17 batters while walking 4 in this 9-inning showcase.
With the Tigers trailing 6-0 and down to their last out, 1st baseman Norm Cash stepped up to bat. Instead of a bat, Cash (who had already struck out twice) brought a wooden leg from the clubhouse table. Even Ryan had a nice chuckle. The umpire, however, couldn’t find his funny bone, and forced Cash to get an actual bat. That didn’t do much good, though, when he popped out to end the game. Ryan became only the fourth pitcher to throw two no-hitters in the same regular season.
That year was almost too perfect for Ryan, as he won 21 games with a 2.87 ERA and broke the single season strike out record (383) by one, formerly held by Sandy Koufax. He went on to throw five more no-hitters in his career, with the last coming on May 1, 1991, when he was 44 years old.
Ryan has always credited his success to his work ethic. Being a believer in the theory that pitching power comes from the legs and not the arms, Ryan ran every day and attributed his consistency and career-length to his strong legs. In 1983, Ryan broke Walter Johnson’s career strikeout record. He pitched for 27 years in the big leagues, where he struck out 5,714 batters in his career, breaking his own record 2,206 times. He was 324-292 for his career, and finished his career with a 3.19 ERA.