Nolan Ryan - Timeline

Astros Trades & Transactions

Nov 19, 1979:Signed Nolan Ryan(P) from Cal-A as free agent
Nov 4, 1988:Granted free agency to Nolan Ryan(P). Ryan signed with Tex-A on Dec 7
Jun 5, 1989:1. Drafted Todd Jones(P) (#27 pick overall) as compensation for Nolan Ryan in compensation round of 1989 Summer Draft
Jun 5, 1989:2. Drafted Brian Hunter(OF) in 1989 Summer Draft as compensation for Nolan Ryan

This Date in Astros History

Jan 31, 1947:Lynn Nolan Ryan is born in Refugio, TX. He would pitch nine seasons in Houston (1980-1988), winning two ERA titles and tossing a record fifth career no-hitter on his way to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Sep 18, 1966:19-Year-old Nolan Ryan of Alvin pitches for the New York Mets at the Dome. He strikes out the side in his one inning of work. He also surrenders two walks and four hits as the Astros plate four runs. Houston wins, 9-2. In the nightcap of the doubleheader, another Met rookie, Tug McGraw, is lit for four early runs as the Astros hold on to sweep it, 6-5.
Jul 30, 1969:Denis Menke and Jim Wynn launch grand slams in the same inning as the Astros crush the Mets, 16-3 and 11-5 in a twinbill at Shea Stadium . The double slam was the first National League occurance in 79 years. So hot were Houston's bats that Larry Dierker took Nolan Ryan deep in the nightcap and Fred Gladding broke an oh-for-the-decade slump with a bloop single for the only hit in his career.
Aug 30, 1970:Jim Wynn launches two homers off Nolan Ryan to pace a 9-5 thrashing of the Mets. Wynn totals four hits and drives in five. Denis Menke also goes deep twice. Don Wilson survives an early 3-0 deficit to gain the victory. Wynn tells the press that Ryan's fastball is no match for his bat and backs it up.
Jul 16, 1971:Astros turn the first triple play in their history during a 9-4 victory over Nolan Ryan and the Mets . Shortstop Roger Metzger takes a tap by Cleon Jones and steps on second, forcing Tommie Agee. His toss to first beats Jones to the bag. First baseman Denis Menke sees Ken Boswell make a belated dash to third so he fires across the diamond where Doug Rader completes the trifecta.
Nov 19, 1979:Righthander Nolan Ryan is signed as a free agent by the Astros, becoming baseball's first million-dollar-a-year player. The Texas native comes to Houston after a long career with the Mets and the Angels where he notched four no-hitters and set numerous strikeout records. It marks the first significant signing for the franchise since the advent of free agency in 1975.
Apr 12, 1980:In his first game as an Astro, Nolan Ryan hits the first home run of his career, a three-run shot off Don Sutton. But the lead doesn't hold and Los Angeles eventually wins in 17 innings, 6-5.
Apr 22, 1980:Nolan Ryan 's first win as an Astro comes in an 8-0 victory over Cincinnati. It's the initial dividend from baseball's first million-dollar-per-year contract. Ryan fans seven and walks six in seven innings. Jose Cruz is the star with three hits and five RBIs, including a bases-loaded triple in the first inning.
May 28, 1980:Enos Cabell singles home Jose Cruz in the second inning and Nolan Ryan makes it stand up for a 1-0 shutout over San Diego. Ryan fires a two-hitter, striking out seven.
Jun 19, 1980:Nolan Ryan and Joe Sambito team up to one-hit St. Louis, 2-0. Struggling with the flu, Ryan lasts seven innings before bowing out. Garry Templeton's third-inning double is the only Cardinal hit. Jose Cruz drives in both Astro runs with a single and sacrifice fly.
Jul 4, 1980:Nolan Ryan strikes out Cesar Geronimo for his 3000th career strikeout but Cincinnati prevails, 8-1. Ryan fans six but walks seven in just over four innings of work. A solo shot by Cesar Cedeno is the lone Astro tally.
Oct 12, 1980:Houston has a 5-2 lead and needs six outs to reach the World Series. Nolan Ryan is on the mound. Philadelphia surges back to win in ten innings, 8-7, and take the National League pennant before a drained Astrodome crowd. Manny Trillo's triple caps a five-run Phillie rally but the Astros tie it on hits from Rafael Landestoy and Jose Cruz. Garry Maddox's sinking double breaks the tie then he snares Enos Cabell's fly to break Houston hearts. The ten-inning game is the fourth consecutive extra-inning game of the series.
May 16, 1981:Craig Reynolds ties a major-league mark with three triples during a 6-1 victory over Chicago. It is part of a four-hit night with four RBIs. His first triple sails to the gap in right-center. His other two hug the right field line. Nolan Ryan and Joe Sambito team up to tame the Cubs.
Jun 5, 1981:Nolan Ryan breaks the major league record for career bases on balls issued during a 3-0 shutout over the Mets. His second pass of the night eclipses the mark of Early Wynn. Ryan also strikes out ten.
Jun 10, 1981:Pete Rose of Philadelphia singles against Nolan Ryan to tie Stan Musial for the most hits in league history (3,630). Ryan would fan Rose in his final three at-bats before a two-month strike begins the next day. The strike is one day too late for Frank LaCorte who blows a 4-0 lead in a 5-4 Phillies verdict.
Sep 20, 1981:A nutty day at Candlestick Park begins when a skydiver misses the stadium and crashes into the parking lot, breaking both feet. Gary Woods is lifted for pinch-hitter Terry Puhl in the top of the first inning. Nolan Ryan's apparent single to right fails when he is gunned down at first by Jack Clark. Tony Scott, who stars with four hits including a double and a homer, is tagged out at second after advancing on a base on balls. Somehow, Houston wins, 7-3.
Sep 26, 1981:Nolan Ryan becomes the only player in baseball history to pitch five no-hitters, blanking the Dodgers, 5-0, before a national television audience. Ryan whiffs eleven and walks three in the masterpiece. Nolan's gem matters even more since the Astros are nursing a slim lead over Cincinnati in the N.L. West split-season race.
Oct 6, 1981:Alan Ashby, as if waiting a year for revenge, slams a two-out two-run homer off Dave Stewart in the ninth to stun the Dodgers, 3-1, in Game One of their divisional playoff series. Tony Scott had driven in Terry Puhl earlier but Los Angeles ties it up on a solo shot from Steve Garvey, one of just two hits given up by Nolan Ryan.
Oct 11, 1981:Jerry Reuss of the Dodgers shuts out the Astros on a five-hitter, 4-0, winning the divisional series, 3-2. Nolan Ryan is reached for three runs in the sixth while Houston's bats, as one writer put it, died in their sleep. The Astros manage just twelve hits and two runs over three days of one-win-to-clinch baseball.
May 28, 1982:Nolan Ryan fans eleven Mets in 5-2/thirds innings during a 7-4 victory. Mike LaCoss and Dave Smith strike out three each to total 17 Ks, one short of Don Wilson's club record. Dave Kingman whiffs five times, once with the bases loaded. Terry Puhl socks a home run and Phil Garner drives in three to pace the offense
Jun 2, 1982:Alan Ashby swats a three-run homer and a two-run double to give him five RBIs during a 6-4 triumph over the Expos. The home run comes off Scott Sanderson. Nolan Ryan picks up the win.
Jul 27, 1982:Nolan Ryan notches the 200th win of his career, a five-hitter for a 3-2 victory over Cincinnati. Ryan strikes out 13. Ray Knight scores the winning run when Terry Puhl lines a drive off reliever Jim Kern that forces a wild throw from Ron Oester at second base. Knight hustles past third and beats the throw to the plate.
Aug 11, 1982:Nolan Ryan tosses a one-hitter in silencing the Padres, 3-0. A rolling single by Terry Kennedy in the fifth is the lone hit. Terry Puhl leads the offense with three hits and Dickie Thon extends his hitting streak to 20 games.
Aug 31, 1982:Nolan Ryan takes a no-hitter against the Mets into the eighth inning, eventually winning a two-hit shutout, 4-0. He strikes out nine along the way. Ron Hodges breaks up history with a single. Tony Scott drives in two of the four runs.
Apr 17, 1983:Nolan Ryan fans seven Expos to pass 3,500 strikeouts for his career. He beats Montreal, 6-3, for his first win of the season. Ray Knight adds two hits, including a home run.
Apr 27, 1983:Nolan Ryan breaks Walter Johnson's major league record for career strikeouts, fanning Montreal's Brad Mills for his 3,509th victim. Ironically it was a curveball, not Ryan's famed fastball, that claims Mills. Ryan accomplishes the feat in 2,500 less innings than Johnson needed to set it. Nolan tips his cap to the applauding Canadian fans then quickly resumes on his way to a 4-2 victory.
Jun 17, 1983:Dickie Thon tags two solo homers off Eric Show to give Nolan Ryan all the cushion he needs. Houston dumps San Diego, 4-1. Ryan fans six and is one behind Philly's Steve Carlton in the all-time strikeout race.
Jul 13, 1983:Injury call-up George Bjorkman, in his third big league game, swats a three-run homer and drives in five to lead a 9-4 victory over Montreal. But his biggest thrill, he says afterwards, is catching Nolan Ryan. The Express fans five while winning his eighth straight decision.
Aug 3, 1983:Nolan Ryan hurls a one-hitter at San Diego, 1-0. A roller by Tim Flannery in the third is the lone blemish. Terry Puhl reaches on an infield hit in the first and scores on a triple by Dickie Thon. Ryan makes that stand up while striking out ten.
Sep 1, 1983:Kevin Bass, pinch-hitting for Nolan Ryan, slugs a bases-loaded triple off the wall in left-center to give Houston a 3-0 victory over Pittsburgh. Kent Tekulve is the victim. Ryan had struck out ten Pirates before Bass plates the winning runs. Frank DiPino works the final two frames for the save.
Sep 20, 1983:Jose Cruz smacks a two-run single and a grand slam to pace a 15-2 demolition of Los Angeles. Alejandro Pena, Burt Hooton and Pat Zachry are torched for 13 runs in the first four innings. Denny Walling chimes in with three hits, including two doubles and three RBIs. Nolan Ryan coasts to his 14th win.
May 6, 1984:Astros club 19-year-old phenom Dwight Gooden with eight runs in the third on their way to a 10-1 drubbing of the Mets. Nolan Ryan, almost twice Gooden's age, scatters six hits for the victory. Ryan contributes a bunt hit over Gooden's head in the rally while Mark Bailey drives home the first and last runs of the frame.
Aug 22, 1984:Jose Cruz rips a grand slam in a seven-run second inning as Houston coasts to an 8-3 triumph over the Cubs. Phil Garner also homers. Nolan Ryan scatters five hits and strikes out 12 as he goes the distance.
Apr 9, 1985:On the Dome's 20th Anniversary, Nolan Ryan leads a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles, surviving a first-inning kiss from Morganna who also smooches Dickie Thon before the police arrest her.
Apr 14, 1985:In a battle between the major-league's top two strikeout artists of all time, Nolan Ryan defeats Steve Carlton and the Phillies, 6-3. Ryan increases his career strikeout lead over Carlton to ten (3,887 to 3,877). Jose Cruz supports with three hits.
May 29, 1985:Jim Pankovits ' grand slam off John Candelaria breaks a 3-3 tie as Houston belts the Pirates, 8-3. The blast keys a seven-run seventh inning after Phil Garner and Mark Bailey delivered RBI singles. Nolan Ryan picks up the victory.
Jul 11, 1985:Nolan Ryan fans Danny Heep in the sixth inning to become the first player to reach 4,000 career strikeouts. Kevin Bass homers in the frame to give the Astros a 3-1 lead but miscues later let the Mets tie it. Bill Doran's fifth hit of the game, in the 12th, scores Dickie Thon for a 4-3 Houston victory.
Aug 14, 1985:Pinch-hitter Dickie Thon blasts a three-run shot off Mark Davis to key a 7-5 victory over San Francisco. He drives in an insurance run to give him four RBIs. Jeff Heathcock wins as Nolan Ryan leaves after three innings.
May 2, 1986:Bob Knepper runs his record to 5-0 with a 6-1 victory at chilly Montreal. Manager Hal Lanier has been using a three-man rotation of Knepper, Mike Scott and Nolan Ryan to get the Astros off to a fast start.
Jul 22, 1986:A pitcher's duel in the Dome. Nolan Ryan allows one hit in 9-1/third innings, striking out 14, but Montreal's Floyd Youmans yields just two hits and fans eight. Glenn Davis breaks the stalemate with a blast off Youmans into the left field seats for a 1-0, ten-inning triumph. Dave Smith gets the win in relief.
Aug 27, 1986:Nolan Ryan wins his 250th career game, a 7-1 victory over the Cubs. He allows just one hit over six innings before turning it over to Charley Kerfeld. Phil Garner notches four hits. Houston steals six bases in the victory.
Sep 24, 1986:Nolan Ryan follows Jim Deshaies' previous two-hitter with six innings of no-hit ball against the Giants before Mike Aldrete singles to break up the bid. Charley Kerfeld surrenders a hit in the ninth as the pair combine for a two-hit, 6-0 whitewash that clinches a tie for the N.L. West pennant. Glenn Davis belts his 30th home run of the season, the first Astro to hit that many since Jim Wynn in 1969.
Oct 8, 1986:Mike Scott outduels Dwight Gooden for a 1-0 victory at the Astrodome in Game One of the N.L.C.S. Scott fans 14 Mets on his way to a complete game shutout. Glenn Davis supplies all the offense with a second-inning home run. New York complains about Scott scuffing the ball but the umpires find nothing wrong. The next day, the Mets even the series with a 5-1 decision as Bob Ojeda outduels Nolan Ryan.
Oct 14, 1986:Fred Brocklander's name becomes infamous in Houston as the Mets defeat the Astros in twelve innings, 2-1. Brocklander calls Craig Reynolds out at first for the third out while a teammate is crossing home plate. Replays show Reynolds beat the throw. Nolan Ryan is perfect until allowing a homer to Darryl Strawberry in the sixth to tie the game. Charley Kerfeld is the victim when Gary Carter drives home Wally Backman with the game-winner. New York leads the N.L.C.S., 3-2, as they fly back to Houston.
May 1, 1987:Nolan Ryan belts his second career home run as he coasts to a 12-3 win over Atlanta. It's a three-run shot off Charlie Puleo and caps a 10-0 lead. Kevin Bass also homers in a three-hit effort.
Sep 4, 1987:Nolan Ryan and Juan Agosto combine on a two-hitter for a 2-0 whitewash of the Pirates. Ryan notches his 210th strikeout of the season, most ever by a pitcher aged 40 or older. A two-run single by Bill Doran plates the only runs.
Sep 9, 1987:Nolan Ryan notches his 4,500th strikeout during a 4-2 victory over San Francisco. Mike Aldrete is the milestone victim as the last out in the seventh. It was quite a night for the Ryan Express - he fans 16 and contributes two hits of his own. One drives in the game's first run. Ryan now leads the N.L. in ERA (2.76) and strikeouts (226) but suffers an 8-15 record. Ryan predicts this "old dog" won't reach number 5,000.
Sep 14, 1987:Gerald Young notches four hits and swipes four bases to lead Houston over the Dodgers, 8-1. Kevin Bass also has a four-hit night with a home run and four RBIs. Nolan Ryan registers nine whiffs in a little over six innings for the victory.
Oct 19, 1987:In one of his final acts as General Manager, Dick Wagner decides to exercise a contract option on Nolan Ryan. It was a strange year for the Express, leading the league in strikeouts and ERA but suffering an 8-16 record. The Astros could have either paid the 40-year-old righthander an estimated $1.3 million or released him to free agency.
Apr 27, 1988:Nolan Ryan takes a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Philadelphia but loses it and the lead. Mike Schmidt singles with one out before Lance Parrish doubles to tie the game. Houston wins it in the tenth, 3-2.
May 13, 1988:Glenn Davis drives in four and Gerald Young provides four hits as Houston pounds the Cubs, 8-2. Nolan Ryan tosses his first complete game in over two years, fanning eleven. Davis leads the league in RBIs (33) while Young leads in stolen bases (22).
Jul 9, 1988:Nolan Ryan wins his 100th game as an Astro, dropping the New York Mets, 6-3. Only Cy Young before him had won 100 games for two teams in two separate leagues. A four-run fifth inning is the difference as RBI singles by Glenn Davis, Buddy Bell and Billy Hatcher surround four walks.
Dec 7, 1988:The Texas Rangers sign pitcher Nolan Ryan as a free agent, creating a huge fan backlash in Houston. San Francisco and California also had offered more than the Astros did. Owner John McMullen defends his bid saying he wouldn't pay Ryan more than he was paying Mike Scott.
Dec 16, 1988:Toronto pitcher Jim Clancy is signed to a free agent contract. Unfairly, he is viewed as the replacement for Nolan Ryan in the Astros rotation. The 32-year-old righthander is coming off an 11-13 season for the Blue Jays.
Feb 15, 1991:Potential buyers of the Astros, Ben Love and six others, approach Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers to own a share of the team. The group includes Drayton McLane. Ryan declines, citing that an active player cannot also be a team owner.
Mar 26, 1991:State Senators pass a bill to rename a part of State Highway 288 the "Nolan Ryan Expressway". The highway passes near the Astrodome on its way through Ryan's boyhood hometown of Alvin.
Nov 3, 1992:Nolan Ryan adorns the City Hall of his hometown Alvin, TX. The pitching legend is shown wearing the uniform of the Texas Rangers where he finishes his career rather than the uniform of nearby Houston where he toiled for nine seasons.
Apr 2, 1993:Nolan Ryan pitches in the Dome for the last time, a 4-3 exhibition loss for his Texas Rangers. A packed house of over 53,000 cheer the 46-year-old Alvin legend. Luis Gonzalez' three hits help to stake Pete Harnisch to a 4-0 lead over the future Hall-Of-Famer, who struck out only one batter in six innings.
Sep 29, 1996:Tony Eusebio doubles home James Mouton with the season's final run in a 5-4 ten-inning victory over the Marlins. Fans come to honor pitcher Nolan Ryan who sees the Astros retire his #34 jersey.
Feb 24, 2004:Nolan Ryan returns to the Astros organization under a five-year personal services contract. Ryan and his sons own one team in the Astros farm system and plan to add another one in 2005 when the AAA affiliate moves to Round Rock, TX and the AA squad moves to Corpus Christi.
May 5, 2004:Roger Clemens passes Steve Carlton to become second on the all-time strikeout list behind Nolan Ryan. He fans Pittsburgh's Raul Mondesi for his 4,137th career K. Clemens also runs his season record to 6-0 with a 6-2 victory.
Sep 3, 2004:Roger Clemens claims his 325th career victory, passing Nolan Ryan and Don Sutton, two former Astros, for 12th place on the all-time wins list. He does so in an 8-6 triumph over Pittsburgh. Home runs by Jose Vizcaino, Carlos Beltran, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell stake Clemens to a 7-0 lead but he gives up six runs in the seventh before leaving. Lance Berkman adds an insurance tally while the bullpen quiets the Bucs. It is Clemens' 15th win of the season and Houston's seventh straight as they climb within 2-1/2 games of Chicago for the wild card playoff spot.
Sep 16, 2005:This wasn't just an ordinary game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth for Jeff Bagwell. It was his first big league hit since mid-May when he decided on surgery to help an arthritic shoulder. There were no guarantees the franchise's home run champ would be able to resume playing. His hit scores Willy Taveras for a 2-1 triumph over Milwaukee to keep the Astros a half-game ahead in the wild card race. Elsewhere, former Astro owner John McMullen, the man who signed the first million-dollar free agent (Nolan Ryan), dies at age 87. McMullen owned the ballclub from 1979 to 1992.
Jan 30, 2007:The City of Houston proclaims Jeff Bagwell Day to celebrate the 15-year career of the Astros slugger. The proclamation coincides with a hitting camp Bagwell is conducting at Minute Maid Park and a pitching camp run by the legendary Nolan Ryan.