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Was Nolan the Greatest? No, He Was Not.

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  • Was Nolan the Greatest? No, He Was Not.

    I started this thread in the "Hall of Fame Talk" category, and a friend of mine told me that I started it in the wrong place, and I figured that since he was right, you know, what the hell? I'll post it here too.

    When I ask most people who they believe is the greatest pitcher ever, most come up with the obvious answers, Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Roger Clemens, etc. Outside of those names, however, there is always a constant...Nolan Ryan. Many consider him to be the greatest pitcher of all-time. I have tried posting this topic on other websites, but 3/4 of the people on those sites are immature and can only fire back with phrases such as, "Nolan is the greatest you fag" or "Shut the hell up moron". I know that almost all of you guys on this website are mature and can read through this post and see my points, because I do believe that Nolan Ryan is one of the most overrated baseball players of all-time.

    My biggest complaint with Ryan would have to be his total lack of control. In addition to striking out 5,714 batters, he also walked 2,795 which is nearly 1,000 more than Lefty Carlton, who ranks second on the all-time list. He also threw 277 wild pitches, which is over 70 more than Jack Morris, who ranks second on the all-time list. Bob Feller once said that Ryan was, "nothing but a thrower that couldn't get the ball over the plate" when comparing Ryan and his former teammate Tom Seaver. He has a point, and the stats prove it.

    Another complaint that I have with Ryan is his extremely mediocre career winning percentage, and his absolutely horrific amount of losses. Ryan lost 292 games, which is the most for any modern-era pitcher and third all-time. His career winning percentage was .526, and he was only 32 games over .500. Something a lot of people like to say is, "Well, Ryan did play on bad teams". While this may be the case, it's no excuse. Let's look at some other pitchers like that. In 1946, Bob Feller had a 26-15 record, a 2.18 earned run average, 348 strikeouts, 36 complete games, and a 153 *ERA+. The Indians had a 68-86 record that season. In 1910, Walter Johnson had a 25-17 record, a 1.36 earned run average, 313 strikeouts, 38 complete games, and a 183 *ERA+. The Washington Senators finished the season second to last in the American League with a 66-85 record. Lastly, in 1992, Greg Maddux posted a 20-11 record, a 2.18 earned run average, 199 strikeouts, and a 166 *ERA+. The Cubs posted a 78-84 record. Also, contrary to belief, the teams that Ryan played for had a combined .506 winning percentage while he played for them. Ryan had only a .023 better percentage than the teams he played on. Walter Johnson's Senators didn't even win the pennant until his 18th season, yet he managed to have a .107 better percentage than lowly Washington. In the nine seasons that Ryan had a losing record, he had an earned run average above 3.30 seven times, and had an earned run average above 3.50 four times, showing that even if his team didn't give him run support, it was because he gave up runs in the first place. In fact, he had an earned run average above 3.50 nine times. Walter Johnson only did it three times. Bob Gibson also did it three times. Whitey Ford never had an ERA over 3.24.

    Ryan never won a Cy Young either. Say what you want about the awards, the Cy Young shows the pitcher that dominates their league, and considering the highest Ryan ever got was second place once, it shows that he wasn't as dominate as everyone likes to say he was. In his twenty-seven seasons, he played in only eight All-Star games, he got to the postseason five times and has a 1-2 record in seven starts.

    I mean, come on, how can you put a guy who had no control, was 32 games over .500, and won one postseason game, ahead of guys like Walter Johnson, Greg Maddux, Whitey Ford, Bob Gibson, Cy Young, Bob Feller, and many others that were far and ahead of Nolan Ryan.

    And do keep in mind, this is all strictly in my humble opinion, and I do thank you all for liste...sorry...reading my post.
    5,008 innings pitched, 13th all-time, most active
    355 wins, 8th all-time, most active
    3.16 lifetime ERA
    3,371 strikeouts, 10th all-time
    109 complete games, most active
    18 Gold Gloves, most all-time
    First to win four consecutive Cy Young Awards

    He could throw a baseball through a lifesaver if you asked him!-Joe Morgan

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