Saturday’s Den: Looking at Nolan Ryan’s no-hitters, and other random stuff…….

We start with a recap of Nolan Ryan’s seven no-hitters, thrown to seven different catchers:
1) 5-15-73: Angels 3, Royals 0 in KC:
— Ryan got knocked out of his previous start in the first inning on May 11; on the 12th, he came in and got a six-out save. He pitched this no-hitter on two days’ rest.
— Lou Piniella was the Royals’ RF in this game. 
— Bobby Valentine batted 3rd, Frank Robinson 4th for the Angels.
— Angels’ catcher: Jeff Torborg, who caught three no-hitters, including Sandy Koufax’ perfect game in 1965.

2) 7-15-73: Angels 6, Tigers 0 in Detroit:
— Ryan gave up six runs in six IP in his previous start.
— Game was 1-0 into 8th inning; Angels scored four in the 8th.
— Jim Perry was the opposing pitcher; he won 217 big league games.
— Angels catcher: Art Kusyner, who hit .149 in 41 games for the Halos that year.

3) 9-28-74: Angels 4, Twins 0:
— His last start of the year; he had thrown 45 innings in his previous five (4-1) starts.
— 8 walks, 15 strikeouts; 23 of 35 batters didn’t hit a fair ball.
— Rod Carew, Tony Oliva played for the Twins that day; damn good hitters.
— Angels’ catcher: Tom Egan, who wound up batting .103.

4) 6-1-75: Angels 1, Orioles 0:
— Ryan had given up 11 runs in 13 IP in his previous two starts.
— Dave Chalk knocked in Mickey Rivers in 3rd inning, with the game’s only run.
— Jerry Remy led off for the Angels; he is now the Red Sox’ TV analyst.
— Angels’ catcher: Ellie Rodriguez, who played nine years in the majors.

5) 9-28-81: Astros 5, Dodgers 0:
— Was 1-2, 5.68 in his previous three starts.
— Ryan missed two months in the middle of this season (June 10-August 14)
— Dodgers wound up winning the World Series a few weeks later.
— Astros’ catcher: Alan Ashby, who played 17 years in the big leagues.

6) 6-11-90: Rangers 5, A’s 0 in Oakland:
— Was 0-3, 10.13 in his previous five starts, including a 5-4 home loss to Oakland five days before this game.
— A’s were 38-18 at the time, lost the World Series that year.
— Julio Franco hit two homers, knocked in four runs for Texas.
— Rangers’ catcher: John Russell, who hit .225 in a 10-year big league career.

7) 5-1-91: Rangers 3, Blue Jays 0:
— Two walks, 16 strikeouts, not bad for a 44-year old.
— Blue Jays wound up 91-71 that year, losing ALCS.
— Jeff Huson played SS for Texas that day; nowadays, he is the Colorado Rockies’ TV analyst.
— Rangers’ catcher: Mike Stanley, who hit 187 homers in a 15-year career.

8) In David Cutcliffe’s 12 seasons as Duke’s football coach, the Blue Devils have won 72 games. In the 24 years before Cutcliffe came to Durham, the Blue Devils won 73 games.

9) Lost my mind a little earlier this week when some NFL writer posted his positional ratings for every team, and he had Jared Goff ranked 21st amongst NFL quarterbacks. No bleepin’ way.

Under Sean McVay, Goff is 35-16 as a starter; he’s won an NFC title game on the road, putting up 34 points in a hostile Superdome. No way in hell is Daniel Jones or Baker Mayfield better than he is; Matthew Stafford has played 11 years in the NFL, is 0-3 in playoff games. Goff is 2-2 in playoff games, in only four years.

10) There was a great story this week about the late Don Shula, and about how single-minded coaches can be.

Shula obviously coached the Miami Dolphins, and for part of that time, the TV show Miami Vice was a very popular program on NBC. Don Johnson was one of the stars.

After a Miami win one day, a Dolphin staffer brings Johnson in to meet Shula; Johnson is a big sports fan, but Shula has no idea who Johnson is. When the staffer mentions Miami Vice, Shula thinks he is an actual policeman. Focus helps coaches be great; Shula had great focus.

11) These days, by the way, Don Johnson is often seen at Cal-Santa Barbara basketball games. He was in Nash Bridges (his dad was played by James Gammon, the manager in Major League) and he was also very good as a golf pro in Tin Cup.

Our last two nuggets are from the great baseball writer Joe Posnanski:
12) Since 1905, there have been 16,657 players make their way to the major leagues; of that number, 1,621 (9.7%) played on a team that won a World Series.

13) 403 played on 2+ World Series champions; 30 played on 5+ title teams. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.