I'm not sure when I decided that I was a Nolan Ryan fan. According to documentation provided by my mom, it happened sometime before second grade.
For those of you who have not been trained to read the writing of seven year olds, it says "I like to collect Nolen Ryan cards. I like to wear my EAGLES hat to bed. I like to go bowlen."
Unlike wearing a green, corduroy hat to bed that had the Philadelphia Eagles logo on it, I still like Nolan Ryan cards. Bowling is still okay, but it's lost a little bit of the luster.
There was a time when I thought that all "off-brand" baseball cards were lame and not worth having. If it didn't come in a shiny pack with a recognizable brand name (Topps, Score, Donruss, Upper Deck, Fleer), it was an "imposter" card, and I didn't have time for that kind of stuff.
Now, I kind of like the novelty. I mean, there are some ugly, uninspired fakers out there, but once in a while, you find one that really nails it.
Is this the coolest card Nolan Ryan card you've ever seen? Or at least in the top five? And it was less than a dollar!
Well, it is for me! The shiny gold lettering make it pop, and helps you kind of forget that there's a plain ol' baseball in the background. And kind of forget that the picture of Nolan looks like it was cut out of another picture by a five year old with dull scissors. But really did you notice any of those things at first?
Of course not! It's the blood all over Ryan's shirt, after getting a line drive back up the middle from Bo Jackson. (EDIT: at first, I thought it was from the infamous Robin Ventura fight, even though we know that Ventura ended up on the business end of that beating. Thanks for the correction, Matt).
This has to be one of the coolest, non-posed, non-"action" images on a baseball card. Here's the back, which makes no mention of the incident that led to the image on the front.
The trademark on the bottom says "Sports Stars USA". Has anybody ever heard of this/have other cards like this one?
My grandpa on my mom's side was born in Louisiana, but raised in the Fort Worth area, and despite not being a huge sports fan, always rooted for the Texas teams when they were playing. This made it only natural to root for the Ryan Express. I think it's cool that he's still with the team and helping them put together a winner.
Anyways, after catching that line drive off the kisser, Nolan recovered and threw him out. Even stayed in the game! Later on, Bo came up again. How'd he do the second time? Four straight fastballs for the K!
Don't Mess With Texas!