Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Nolan Ryan documentary ‘Facing Nolan’ throws streaming fastball for MLB fans

His record seven no-hitters and 5,714 strikeouts will likely never be matched in baseball.

All aboard the Ryan Express as the documentary “Facing Nolan” hits streaming Tuesday.

“A lot of people wonder why hasn’t there been a Nolan Ryan movie because the guy is such a legend, he played for so many years, broke so many records and he’s such an enigmatic character,” Director Bradley Jackson told WTOP. “A lot of people, especially Texans, I’m from Texas as well, are very thankful the movie is now out in the public.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 05:12 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: documentarie, nolan ryan

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 05:43 PM (#6087680)

“Does Nolan Ryan go down as the greatest pitcher of all time?” Jackson said. “I don’t think you can quantify what’s the greatest pitcher of all time. … But if you’re going to make a Top 10 list, you have to include Nolan Ryan. Even if you make a Top 5 list, he’s in the conversation. … He’s one of one. There’s never gonna be anybody like Nolan Ryan.”


lol
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: July 21, 2022 at 05:52 PM (#6087684)
"Tell me you know nothing about baseball without saying 'I know nothing about baseball.'"

that said, he's potentially a tremendous subject for a documentary.

Rank Player (yrs, age) Strikeouts IP
1. Nolan Ryan+ (27) 5714 5386.0
2. Randy Johnson+ (22) 4875 4135.1
3. Roger Clemens (24) 4672 4916.2
4. Steve Carlton+ (24) 4136 5217.2
5. Bert Blyleven+ (22) 3701 4970.0
6. Tom Seaver+ (20) 3640 4783.0
7. Don Sutton+ (23) 3574 5282.1
8. Gaylord Perry+ (22) 3534 5350.0
9. Walter Johnson+ (21) 3509 5914.1
10. Greg Maddux+ (23) 3371 5008.1

11. Phil Niekro+ (24) 3342 5404.0
12. Fergie Jenkins+ (19) 3192 4500.2
13. Pedro Martinez+ (18) 3154 2827.1
14. JUSTIN VERLANDER (17, 39) 3121 3097.1
15. Bob Gibson+ (17) 3117 3884.1
16. Curt Schilling (20) 3116 3261.0
17. MAX SCHERZER (15, 37) 3110 2605.2
18. CC Sabathia (19) 3093 3577.1
19. John Smoltz+ (21) 3084 3473.0
20. Jim Bunning+ (17) 2855 3760.1

21. ZACK GREINKE (19, 38) 2851 3187.2
22. Mickey Lolich (16) 2832 3638.1
23. Mike Mussina+ (18) 2813 3562.2
24. Cy Young+ (22) 2803 7356.0
25. Frank Tanana (21) 2773 4188.1
26. CLAYTON KERSHAW (15, 34) 2745 2526.1

the difference between No. 1 and No. 2 in K (839) equals the Ks by Alejandro Pena or by Ewell Blackwell. It's 1 more than Cory Lidle had, 2 more than Herb Score had, and 2 fewer than CARLOS RODON has now.

the difference between No. 1 and No. 10 in K (2343) is right in between the career totals of Robin Roberts and Early Wynn.

Greinke is about to become only the 20th pitcher in the history of baseball to have half as many strikeouts as Ryan had.
   3. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 21, 2022 at 06:09 PM (#6087686)
Yea, I grew up idolizing Ryan. Was he that interesting of a person? Seems like he was just an "aw shucks" Texas boy who was a pitbull on the mound and threw really really hard with some control issues. I'll tune in!
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: July 21, 2022 at 06:09 PM (#6087687)

WALKS
1. Nolan Ryan+ (27) 2795 5386.0
2. Steve Carlton+ (24) 1833 5217.2
3. Phil Niekro+ (24) 1809 5404.0
4. Early Wynn+ (23) 1775 4564.0
5. Bob Feller+ (18) 1764 3827.0
6. Bobo Newsom (20) 1732 3759.1
7. Amos Rusie+ (10) 1707 3778.2
8. Charlie Hough (25) 1665 3801.1
9. Roger Clemens (24) 1580 4916.2
10. Gus Weyhing (14) 1570 4337.0

11. Red Ruffing+ (22) 1541 4344.0
12. Tom Glavine+ (22) 1500 4413.1
13. Randy Johnson+ (22) 1497 4135.1
14. Bump Hadley (16) 1442 2945.2
15. Warren Spahn+ (21) 1434 5243.2
16. Earl Whitehill (17) 1431 3564.2
17. Tony Mullane (13) 1408 4531.1
18. Sad Sam Jones (22) 1396 3883.0
19. Jack Morris+ (18) 1390 3824.0
Tom Seaver+ (20) 1390 4783.0

the difference between No. 1 and No. 2 in BB (962) is 11 more than the career totals of Doc Gooden or Catfish Hunter.

the difference between No. 1 and No. 10 in BB (1445) is 3 more than No. 14 Bump Hadley had.

only 16 pitchers in the history of baseball to have half as many walks as Ryan had.

(there are no active pitchers on the BB charts until Verlander at 184th)

   5. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 22, 2022 at 07:41 AM (#6087740)
Throw in the 321 HR allowed, and Ryan had 8,830 Three True Outcomes in his career...more than a typical team has in a whole year!
   6. Lassus Posted: July 22, 2022 at 08:54 AM (#6087750)
I think talking down Nolan Ryan has definitely become "Tell me you're sure you know everything about baseball without telling me you're sure you know everything about baseball."
   7. villageidiom Posted: July 22, 2022 at 09:09 AM (#6087751)
Greinke is about to become only the 20th pitcher in the history of baseball to have half as many strikeouts as Ryan had.
This is the most fun way to express how many strikeouts Ryan had.

Mike Trout is only 12 WAR away from becoming the 43rd player in MLB history to have at least half the WAR of Babe Ruth. There are only 10 people in MLB history who have had at least half as many stolen bases as Rickey Henderson. With 18 more wins Justin Verlander will become the 43rd player to have half as many wins as Cy Young. With 11 more saves Aroldis Chapman will become the 20th pitcher to have half as many saves as Mariano Rivera. There are only 46 pitchers who have thrown at least half as many wild pitches as Nolan Ryan.
   8. Ron J Posted: July 22, 2022 at 09:18 AM (#6087755)
#6 Nothing new. At heart it's the tension between damned near unhittable and clearly not unbeatable.

Baseball's always been fascinated by pitchers like this. There's a reason you still hear Steve Dalkowski stories.

EDIT: And exactly once Steve Dalkowski became basically Nolan Ryan for me in OOTP.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: July 22, 2022 at 12:18 PM (#6087776)
I think talking down Nolan Ryan has definitely become "Tell me you're sure you know everything about baseball without telling me you're sure you know everything about baseball."


"Even if you make a Top 5 list, he’s in the conversation."

I assume it is obvious - to almost everyone else, at least - that every sentient baseball fan recognizing that Nolan Ryan does not, in fact, belong in that Top 5 conversation is by no means "talking down Nolan Ryan."

Brett, Yount, and Fisk getting elected to the HOM in their first try in 1999 - crushing fellow newcomer Ryan in the voting - also did not "talk down Nolan Ryan." It merely recognized his place.

same for 2009 results

among modern pitchers, Ryan was rated 9th by a HOM panel - and, as it happened, not a single vote for Ryan in the top 5, which suggests that having him "in the conversation" as an all-time top 5 pitcher stretches the bounds of credulity.
   10. Ron J Posted: July 22, 2022 at 12:25 PM (#6087782)
#9 My favorite example used to be Joe DiMaggio. It makes perfect sense to me to say that he was a magnificent player. And was generally overrated.

The problem is that an awful lot of people parse "overrated" as "bad" and that's at the heart of the discussion that starts with "Ryan top 5"
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 22, 2022 at 12:28 PM (#6087783)
Ryan may very well be the most spectacular pitcher ever, but as Bill James once opined about Bo Jackson, "Baseball is not a spectacle."
   12. Lassus Posted: July 22, 2022 at 01:32 PM (#6087799)
#11, but does that work with "entertaining"?


I love the HOM, and I'm great friends with an original HOM voter, which is how I found BTF. But dismissing my "you're sure you know everything about baseball" snark by using the Hall of Merit in opposition to that attitude is actually kind of funny.

   13. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: July 22, 2022 at 01:36 PM (#6087802)
The quote in #1 is half-right, Nolan was definitely a 1 of 1, but nowhere near the all-time top 10. He's number 20 in bWAR, that seems in the ballpark, just for his otherworldly durability.
   14. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: July 22, 2022 at 01:39 PM (#6087805)
Never mind.
   15. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: July 22, 2022 at 01:47 PM (#6087808)
Evidently there is a Jeter documentary coming out, first episode aired this week, I think. There were definitely ads running during the HR Derby.
   16. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 22, 2022 at 01:56 PM (#6087812)
"Baseball is not a spectacle."

It is if you're doing it right.
   17. Howie Menckel Posted: July 22, 2022 at 03:30 PM (#6087831)
I think talking down Nolan Ryan has definitely become "Tell me you're sure you know everything about baseball without telling me you're sure you know everything about baseball."


based on your followup, I don't know what you're trying to say.
do you think he's "in the conversation as a top 5 pitcher," or not?

if you do, I can't help you.
if you don't...
   18. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 22, 2022 at 05:26 PM (#6087842)

I think Nolan is both a bit underrated and a bit overrated. His uniqueness as a pitcher and all the Ks and no-hitters made him overrated by traditional fans. But there's probably an argument that he played in front of bad defenses, that he should have had a better ERA than he did, and he should have won more games than he did given his ERA. He had 84 career WAR which is about on par with Mike Mussina -- that's not bad, although the average fan would probably think that undersells Ryan.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: July 22, 2022 at 05:42 PM (#6087847)
I remember all by Ryan's rookie career, and indeed it's one of the most fascinating careers in MLB history.

he has a little Lou Brock in him. We thought he was producing a lot more positive results than he actually was. It never occurred to anyone, it seemed, that his base-stealing percentage was such that his CS basically wiped out his SBs. and for all the chatter about how distracting he was for the pitcher - he was the same for the batter, for the most part.
   20. Ron J Posted: July 22, 2022 at 06:32 PM (#6087854)
A little bit of the FIP discrepancy (it's nothing major) is the wild pitch and passed ball issue. He had an unusually high number of both.

He also tended to have poor DP support and that's not random either.

It also sees him as on average playing for a team that was about as good defensively as last years Pirates. Not historically bad like Rick Reuschel's but below average. I think that's actually a bit unfair to the defenses since as mentioned he created passed pass and the fact that he got poor DP support had a lot to do with the relatively low number of ground balls he allowed.

In the end his career valuation looks about right to me. Tons of good innings.
   21. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 22, 2022 at 11:37 PM (#6087911)
Ryan himself I think was also not a great fielder, right? He had a lot of errors for a pitcher who struck so many guys out.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 22, 2022 at 11:40 PM (#6087912)
He also deserves an extra WAR or two for the beatdown he delivered to Robin Ventura. And I liked Ventura, but Ryan really was a badass in that moment.
   23. Howie Menckel Posted: July 22, 2022 at 11:41 PM (#6087913)
I remember all by Ryan's rookie career

wtf
I remember all but Ryan's rookie season.

winding down off a very mild case of COVID, but damn - apparently it does mess with your brain a bit, even at dinner time!

   24. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 22, 2022 at 11:58 PM (#6087920)
Ryan himself I think was also not a great fielder, right? He had a lot of errors for a pitcher who struck so many guys out.


Ryan is 26th in pitcher errors, with 90. Every pitcher who had more errors than he did started their career in the 19th Century.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: July 23, 2022 at 01:09 AM (#6087934)
He also wasn't good at holding runners on (25 percent CS percentage vs. LG avg. of 34).
   26. The Honorable Ardo Posted: July 23, 2022 at 01:40 AM (#6087935)
Fast-forward a young pitcher with Ryan's profile fifty years into the 2010s. I'm 100% certain that he's a dominant closer who never gets an opportunity to start. Basically he'd have an Aroldis Chapman-style career.
   27. The Honorable Ardo Posted: July 23, 2022 at 01:41 AM (#6087936)
(double post)
   28. Ron J Posted: July 23, 2022 at 08:01 AM (#6087940)
#26 Likely true of Randy Johnson as well. Johnson took a long time to figure things out ( to bring it back around, Ryan supposedly played a role -- helping Johnson figure out how to get a consistent release point) but I have little doubt that if given a Chapman role he'd have been dominant.

As things currently stand MLB is not going to find those very rare pitchers who can handle extreme workloads.
   29. baxter Posted: July 23, 2022 at 08:16 PM (#6088017)
11 What does Bill James have to say about Jackson's donation of $170K for Uvalde shooting victims' funerals? Bo knows humanity?
   30. Rally Posted: July 25, 2022 at 11:25 AM (#6088165)
Watched the trailer but anyone know where the actual documentary will run? Wondering if its also on Youtube, or at least one of the streaming services I have.
   31. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 25, 2022 at 12:57 PM (#6088188)

Watched the trailer but anyone know where the actual documentary will run? Wondering if its also on Youtube, or at least one of the streaming services I have.

The website says it's available on Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu, and something called Altavod. It looks like right now you have to buy it for $19.99 but starting tomorrow you can rent it for an undisclosed price on some of those services.
   32. Lassus Posted: July 26, 2022 at 09:05 AM (#6088275)
The website says it's available on Prime Video, Apple TV, Vudu, and something called Altavod.

I'll probably watch it, but I admit the trailer doesn't make it look particularly innovative or interesting, simply the standard talking-head testimonials. Maybe I'll be wrong.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
phredbird
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s Back to Club Football We Go
(386 - 11:38am, Feb 05)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

Newsblog2023 NBA Regular Season Thread
(359 - 11:22am, Feb 05)
Last: TFTIO was writing C programs in the '90s

NewsblogHow to Watch the Caribbean Series
(6 - 9:55am, Feb 05)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Sultan

NewsblogRed Sox manager Alex Cora on his time with 2017 Astros, per new book: 'We stole that ... World Serie
(11 - 8:44am, Feb 05)
Last: Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful

NewsblogBaseball Hall of Fame tracker 2023
(745 - 8:05am, Feb 05)
Last: kcgard2

NewsblogOrioles to decline 5-year Camden Yards lease extension, seek to secure long-term agreement
(76 - 7:09am, Feb 05)
Last: McCoy

Sox TherapyThe Future Starts Now (Hopefully)
(18 - 6:59pm, Feb 04)
Last: Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful

NewsblogMLB forms economic group as regional TV in peril
(2 - 6:14pm, Feb 04)
Last: Srul Itza

NewsblogMLB expansion: Nashville group led by Dave Stewart makes a pitch for Music City [$]
(26 - 3:00pm, Feb 04)
Last: DFA

NewsblogThese MLB legends were trailblazers in Japan
(5 - 12:53pm, Feb 04)
Last: alilisd

Hall of MeritReranking Left Fielders: Results
(12 - 12:21am, Feb 04)
Last: Chris Cobb

NewsblogOT - 2022 NFL thread Part II
(330 - 11:03pm, Feb 03)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogSinclair’s Sports Channels Prepare Bankruptcy, Putting Team Payments at Risk
(26 - 7:01pm, Feb 03)
Last: Greg Franklin

Hall of MeritRanking Right Fielders in the Hall of Merit - Discussion thread
(43 - 6:03pm, Feb 03)
Last: Jaack

NewsblogJohn Adams, Who Banged His Drum in the Cleveland Bleachers, Has Died
(16 - 2:25pm, Feb 03)
Last: Barry`s_Lazy_Boy

Page rendered in 0.2774 seconds
45 querie(s) executed