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This Day In History

Nolan Ryan registers 5,000th strikeout

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On this day in 1989, Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers becomes the first pitcher in major league history to register 5,000 career strikeouts. Ryan would go on to rack up a total of 5,714 strikeouts, over 1,500 more than his closest competition. Lynn Nolan Ryan, Jr. was born January 31, 1947, in Refugio, Texas and raised in Alvin, southeast of Houston. As a high school sophomore, he was scouted by Red Murff of the New York Mets. Ryan’s coach regaled Murff with tales of the young pitcher’s intimidating fastballs, so powerful they had broken catchers’ bones. Murff was impressed–his report said Ryan had the “best arm I’ve ever seen in my life.”Nolan joined the Mets in 1968, and was soon a highly regarded fireballer. In what is often pointed to as one of the most short-sighted moves in baseball history, the Mets traded Ryan to the Angels for third baseman Jim Fregosi after the 1971 season. With the Angels, Ryan struck out a total of 383 batters in 1973, setting a new major league record. Ryan migrated to the National League after the 1979 season and pitched for the Houston Astros from 1980 to 1988. He then joined the American League’s Rangers prior to the 1989 season.

A fan favorite, Ryan was 42 years old and a 21-year major league veteran in 1989, but continued to deliver consistently powerful pitching. He was 14-7 coming into the game on August 22, with 219 strikeouts, and needed just six more to reach the 5,000-strikout milestone. Rickey Henderson led off the top of the fifth inning with Ryan sitting on 4,999. Henderson, as he did so often in his long career–he retired as the all-time walks leader–worked the count full, fouling off two pitches at a 3-2 count before swinging at and missing a low, 96-mile-per-hour fastball. After the game, Henderson told The New York Times, ”It was an honor to be the 5,000th. As Davey Lopes says, ‘If he ain’t struck you out, you ain’t nobody.’ ”

Ryan had requested before the game that play not be stopped to honor him. Instead, after the fifth inning, Ryan was saluted by President George H.W. Bush in a videotaped message. (The president’s son George W. Bush was then the owner of the Rangers.)

Despite a typically solid performance by Ryan, who had 13 strikeouts for the day and allowed only five hits and two walks, the Rangers lost the game 2-0. Ryan finished the season with a 16-10 record and a 3.20 ERA., and led the American League in strikeouts with 301. It was the 10th of 11 times in his 27-year career that Ryan led his league in strikeouts.

Ryan is most famous for his record seven no-hitters; the last came in 1991 when he was 44 years old.

– History.com Staff


https://youtu.be/YQgvr8ygb-U

 

This Day In History

Truman announces development of H-bomb

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U.S. President Harry S. Truman publicly announces his decision to support the development of the hydrogen bomb, a weapon theorized to be hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II.

Five months earlier, the United States had lost its nuclear supremacy when the Soviet Union successfully detonated an atomic bomb at their test site in Kazakhstan. Then, several weeks after that, British and U.S. intelligence came to the staggering conclusion that German-born Klaus Fuchs, a top-ranking scientist in the U.S. nuclear program, was a spy for the Soviet Union. These two events, and the fact that the Soviets now knew everything that the Americans did about how to build a hydrogen bomb, led Truman to approve massive funding for the superpower race to complete the world’s first “superbomb,” as he described it in his public announcement on January 31.

On November 1, 1952, the United States successfully detonated “Mike,” the world’s first hydrogen bomb, on the Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific Marshall Islands. The 10.4-megaton thermonuclear device, built upon the Teller-Ulam principles of staged radiation implosion, instantly vaporized an entire island and left behind a crater more than a mile wide. The incredible explosive force of Mike was also apparent from the sheer magnitude of its mushroom cloud–within 90 seconds the mushroom cloud climbed to 57,000 feet and entered the stratosphere. One minute later, it reached 108,000 feet, eventually stabilizing at a ceiling of 120,000 feet. Half an hour after the test, the mushroom stretched 60 miles across, with the base of the head joining the stem at 45,000 feet.

Three years later, on November 22, 1955, the Soviet Union detonated its first hydrogen bomb on the same principle of radiation implosion. Both superpowers were now in possession of the “hell bomb,” as it was known by many Americans, and the world lived under the threat of thermonuclear war for the first time in history.

Source: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/truman-announces-development-of-h-bomb

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This Day In History

Gandhi assassinated

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Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, is assassinated in New Delhi by a Hindu extremist.

Born the son of an Indian official in 1869, Gandhi’s Vaishnava mother was deeply religious and early on exposed her son to Jainism, a morally rigorous Indian religion that advocated nonviolence. Gandhi was an unremarkable student but in 1888 was given an opportunity to study law in England. In 1891, he returned to India, but failing to find regular legal work he accepted in 1893 a one-year contract in South Africa.

Settling in Natal, he was subjected to racism and South African laws that restricted the rights of Indian laborers. Gandhi later recalled one such incident, in which he was removed from a first-class railway compartment and thrown off a train, as his moment of truth. From thereon, he decided to fight injustice and defend his rights as an Indian and a man. When his contract expired, he spontaneously decided to remain in South Africa and launched a campaign against legislation that would deprive Indians of the right to vote. He formed the Natal Indian Congress and drew international attention to the plight of Indians in South Africa. In 1906, the Transvaal government sought to further restrict the rights of Indians, and Gandhi organized his first campaign of satyagraha, or mass civil disobedience. After seven years of protest, he negotiated a compromise agreement with the South African government.

In 1914, Gandhi returned to India and lived a life of abstinence and spirituality on the periphery of Indian politics. He supported Britain in the First World War but in 1919 launched a new satyagraha in protest of Britain’s mandatory military draft of Indians. Hundreds of thousands answered his call to protest, and by 1920 he was leader of the Indian movement for independence. He reorganized the Indian National Congress as a political force and launched a massive boycott of British goods, services, and institutions in India. Then, in 1922, he abruptly called off the satyagraha when violence erupted. One month later, he was arrested by the British authorities for sedition, found guilty, and imprisoned.

Source: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/gandhi-assassinated

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This Day In History

U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects first members

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On January 29, 1936, the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame elects its first members in Cooperstown, New York: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Matthewson and Walter Johnson.

The Hall of Fame actually had its beginnings in 1935, when plans were made to build a museum devoted to baseball and its 100-year history. A private organization based in Cooperstown called the Clark Foundation thought that establishing the Baseball Hall of Fame in their city would help to reinvigorate the area’s Depression-ravaged economy by attracting tourists. To help sell the idea, the foundation advanced the idea that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown. The story proved to be phony, but baseball officials, eager to capitalize on the marketing and publicity potential of a museum to honor the game’s greats, gave their support to the project anyway.

In preparation for the dedication of the Hall of Fame in 1939—thought by many to be the centennial of baseball—the Baseball Writers’ Association of America chose the five greatest superstars of the game as the first class to be inducted: Ty Cobb was the most productive hitter in history; Babe Ruth was both an ace pitcher and the greatest home-run hitter to play the game; Honus Wagner was a versatile star shortstop and batting champion; Christy Matthewson had more wins than any pitcher in National League history; and Walter Johnson was considered one of the most powerful pitchers to ever have taken the mound.

Today, with approximately 350,000 visitors per year, the Hall of Fame continues to be the hub of all things baseball. 

Source: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/u-s-baseball-hall-of-fame-elects-first-members

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