9.06.2009

Nolan Ryan, 1992 Fleer Pro-Visions

Name: Nolan Ryan
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Ace
Value of card: 300 score marks on a prison wall
Key 1991 stat: Six months served
Don't mess with Nolan: In 1991, Nolan Ryan was framed for a crime he didn't commit and sentenced to two years in a Texas prison. (Yes, we realize you've never heard of this, but trust us — we're the Bust.) Ryan knew one thing: He had to kill someone on his first night in the slammer. He smuggled in a case of baseballs — don't ask how — picked out a target and nailed a convicted car thief in the head with a 102-mph heater. This killing did not have the intended effect. Ryan's victim, Billy "Chuckles" Belding, was well-liked among the inmates and had a lot of friends. As a result, Ryan found himself constantly fending off attackers, stuffing baseballs down their throats, cracking their skulls with fastballs or strangling them with twine from inside the tools of his trade. In all, Ryan killed more than 300 inmates, guards and visitors during his time in the big house. Ryan eventually realized it was either escape or face certain death. With the same rock hammer he used to keep score of all his kills, he dug through the wall of his cell and floated down the Rio Grande to freedom on a raft made of baseballs. He soon met up with four friends he had met inside. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire the Ryan Express.

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