HOUSTON (KTRK) --Most of you know him as the "Ryan Express." Hall of Fame pitcher and former Houston Astros great Nolan Ryan turned 70 on Tuesday, and we'd like to celebrate one of our favorite Houston athletes with these fun facts.
Did you know...
- Ryan was born in Refugio, Texas.
- His birth name is actually Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr.
- He delivered copies of The Houston Post every morning for several years.
- He was selected in the 12th round of the MLB's amateur draft in 1965 by the New York Mets.
- Ryan was nicknamed the "Ryan Express" by the New York media after he helped the Mets in 1969 upset the favored Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.
- He signed with the Astros in 1979, making him the first major leaguer to earn $1 million annually.
- Ryan set a record with 3,509 strikeouts in 1983.
- He entered The Guinness Book of World Records with the fastest pitch throwing 100.9 miles per hour.
- Ryan is the only MLB player to have his uniform retired by three different teams.
- He launched the Nolan Rylan Tender Aged Beef label in 2000.
- Ryan was part of what some may call one of the most infamous brawls in baseball history with Robin Ventura during a game at Arlington Stadium in 1993. Click here to refresh your memory.