12.16.2009

Nolan Ryan, 1992 Pinnacle Sidelines

Name: Nolan Ryan
Team: Texas Rangers
Position: Ace
Value of card: Two angus burgers
Key 1991 stat: One disappearance
Ryan Express goes Pony Express: In the twilight of his career, Nolan Ryan often forewent off-season workouts, in the interest of both resting his aging body and pursuing other hobbies. But the Ryan Express took things to another level during the winter of 1991-92. When he didn't turn up for spring training in February, Rangers officials formed a search party and combed the greater western United States in search of the ace. Tips began to come in reporting a man who resembled the pitcher going by the name "Roland Nyan" and heading up a cattle drive from Montana to Texas. Reportedly, the cowboy would roll through small towns, chasing off crooked sheriffs by using 98-mph fastballs instead of guns. He was jailed once, but quickly escaped when the residents of Dodge City rioted and busted him out. He turned up in Laredo, Texas, in March, stinking of heifers, sweat-stained leather and rye, but ready to pitch. However, his final major league season was cut short by the worst case of saddle sores that doctors had ever seen.
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