Nolan Ryan Signed 5,000th Strikeout Game-Used Baseball
Perhaps the most feared pitcher in baseball history, Nolan Ryan threw smoke and was a perpetual threat to toss a no-hitter. This official American League (Brown) baseball shows nice use and was in the Hall of Famer's right hand on August 22, 1989 - the day he became the first man to reach 5,000 career strikeouts. Oakland's Rickey Henderson led off the top of the fifth inning and waved at a low, 3-2 fastball to become the answer to a trivia question. After the game, Henderson was quoted as saying, ''It was an honor to be the 5,000th. As Davey Lopes says, 'If he ain't struck you out, you ain't nobody.'" It comes with an LOA from former major league umpire Davy Phillips and JSA LOA for the signature, which rates 6.5/10. Ryan pitched a complete game that night in Arlington, allowing just one earned run while striking out 13, but Bob Welch and the A's prevailed, 2-0. The all-time strikeout king by far, Ryan finished his career with 5,714 punch-outs, over 1,500 more than his nearest competition. Ryan also holds the major league record for most seasons played with 27.