Nolan Ryan is easily one of the greatest MLB pitchers of all time. His stats speak for themselves: 324 wins, 5714 strikeouts, 8 All-Star appearances. His career even lasted four different decades. He did just about everything during his Hall of Fame career.
But there was one other thing that he also did: he went 1-on-1 vs. Robin Ventura in what was definitely one of the greatest baseball fights of all time.
Nolan Ryan may have never won a Cy Young award but he did beat the living shit out of a guy on a baseball field. Not many players can hang their hat on that.
Not only did Ryan get the TKO in that fight, but it’s worth noting that Robin Ventura was 20 years younger than him. Nolan Ryan was old enough to be Ventura’s father, but that didn’t stop him from laying it on thick. Ventura probably deserved it too. It’s pretty common for pitchers to protect the inside of the plate like Ryan did in that moment. Ventura should have just taken it like a man and walked it off, but instead, he got knocked the fuck out.
While there have certainly been some great baseball fights since this one, it really does stand out for just how precise Ryan’s punches were. Normally guys are just flailing around up there, but Nolan was very deliberate in his execution. He put Ryan in a headlock from the jump and then just went to town on him.
Something tells us Nolan Ryan could still go a round or two even at 74 years of age. They just don’t make them like they used to.
Baseball can’t come back soon enough.