By many measures, Ryan is the most impressive big-league pitcher of all time. Over his storied 27-year career, he fanned an MLB-record 5,714 batters and tossed seven no-hitters. He played in eight All-Star games and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as soon as he was eligible.
Before his decades in the big leagues, Ryan was just a kid in a quiet Houston suburb who really liked to throw things. For years, he and his dad would get up at 1 a.m. to deliver 1,500 copies of the now-defunct Houston Post on a 55-mile route. That daily work ethic translated to baseball, which he started playing at the age of 9.
By the time he entered junior high, he could stand on the goal line of a football field and throw a softball more than 100 yards, according to the Society of American Baseball Research.
After turning heads on the mound, he’d ride his bike home to the 1,200-square-foot house on Dezso Drive, to his parents and five siblings.
The single-story home, built in 1955, was recently remodeled and now features four bedrooms, 1.5 baths, and an attached, one-car garage. The property has several large trees, which you could imagine Ryan and his siblings climbing in the early 1960s.
The current owners bought the home in 2010 and revamped the electrical system, plumbing, air conditioning, kitchen, and bathrooms.
Ryan is undoubtedly Alvin’s hometown hero: Thousands of people enter the city every day on the Nolan Ryan Expressway, near Nolan Ryan Junior High School. Banners proclaim the city as the “Home of Nolan Ryan,” and the city’s community college once hosted a Ryan-themed museum.
Before the advent of today’s Statcast era, where baseball data are collected at a scientific level, Ryan held the world record for fastest pitch (estimated at 108.1 mph) in human history—and some still debate whether the Guinness World Records miscalculated his legendary arm’s true top speed.
“At that speed, the curve would break so hard that it’d take your stomach away,” MLB umpire Durwood Merrill wrote in his biography.
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