Hall of Fame hurler Nolan Ryan left a lasting impression on the state of Texas and on Major League Baseball with an illustrious 27-year career.
His 5,714 strikeouts, 324 wins and seven no-hitters cemented his legacy as one of the greats.
But it was 24 years ago Friday that the Ryan Express immortalized himself -- and it didn’t have much to do with his pitching that day.
On August 4, 1993, the 46-year-old Ryan drilled Chicago White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura in the elbow with a fastball. Ventura then made a decision he undoubtedly regrets to this day.
He charged the mound, was put in a headlock and delivered a flurry of punches to the head.
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It escalated to a benches-clearing donnybrook. After the dust settled, the Rangers came away with a 5-2 win. Ryan was the winning pitcher.
But, most importantly, the world learned that day at Arlington Stadium -- the predecessor to what is now Globe Life Park -- that you don’t mess with Texas.
Is Ryan’s classic brawl still the best in Rangers history?
Rougned Odor made a valiant effort to top Ryan’s epic beatdown of Ventura last season, when he socked Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista in the face and sent the internet into frenzy.
Odor gets revenge points for beating up a player who is almost unanimously hated in Ranger Nation. Ryan gets a nod for securing a spot in the annals of history despite not having the same help of social media in 1993.