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Nolan Ryan: The Making of a Pitcher Hardcover – April 1, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Nolan Ryan and Bob Gibson, were the two best competitors I ever faced. The Making of a Pitcher tells you why." —Pete Rose, Baseball's all time hit leader

"This is the oral history of Nolan Ryan, the story of baseball's most legendary power pitcher as told by the teammates, friends and family members who have known him for decades. Rob Goldman is one of those friends, and he takes you beneath the Ryan Express label to share the secrets of Ryan's success on and off the field." —Bill Shaikin, LA Times


"Going back over four decades, just when you think you knew almost everything about the Nolan Ryan story, along comes this book, The Making of a Pitcher. I got a good education, and had a good time learning exactly what I didn't know. Rob Goldman gives us a Nolan look, and a Ruth Ryan look, that is a fun, interesting, and most of all, an entertaining read about two Texas icons. Yes, two. Nolan and Ruth." —Randy Galloway, Fort Worth Star-Telegram


"Nolan Ryan is a tribute to the American way, living proof that hard work creates opportunity. He wasn't a highly-touted prospect when he came out of high school, and he even thought about quitting when he was trade to the California Angels. Now look at him. He became a Hall of Famer, setting records for no-hitters and strikeouts. Rob Goldman delivered a hit in documenting Ryan's rise to the top." —Tracy Ringolsby, MLB.Com

About the Author

Rob Goldman was a batboy for the California Angels during the 1970s, when he first met Nolan Ryan. He is the author of Once They Were Angels, a history of the Angels, and collaborated with former Angels outfielder Tim Salmon on his memoir Always an Angel. He lives in Thousand Oaks, California.  Reid Ryan, the eldest son of Nolan Ryan, was a minor league pitcher and co-founder of Ryan-Sanders Baseball. He is currently the president of the Houston Astros. He lives in Texas.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books (April 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600789226
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600789229
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Paul on June 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Have read several books about Nolan Ryan...this one is by far the most insightful. I grew up watching him and was always a huge fan, especially back in the mid-70's when he pitched for the Angels. Reading about his amazing accomplishments brought back a lot of memories- including where I was and what I was doing when he pitched some of the memorable games chronicled by Rob Goldman. I was fortunate to have been at Anaheim Stadium when Ryan threw his third and forth no-hitters, and it was neat to learn about the behind the scenes details that led up to those two performances.

Highly recommended reading for anyone that's a Nolan Ryan fan or is just interested in learning more about the guy and his amazing career (26 years, seriously?!) . Many of his accomplishments/records will likely never be approached, and Rob Goldman does a great job of weaving Ryan's baseball career with his upbringing and family life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pearl Peters on July 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In April 1975/76 we were at Angel Stadium. Our son, and his dad were in the dugout prior to the game with Detroit . Our son had leukemia and we were at the stadium when Mr. Ryan pitched. The rest of our family was in Mr. AUTRY' S box seats. We have a picture of our son with Nolan Ryan, Rusty Stubbs and Joe Lahoud gave him his personal bat. All of the team members made him feel like he was # 1.

It has been exciting reading this book and finding out what a great man Nolan was and is.
Our son passed away May 4th 1976 and visiting the dugout was a special memory for all of us.
Thanks for writing this book so everyone can know how special he is to his family and friends. I was happy to know he had a sense of humor. Laughter makes life a better place to live with.
Thanks again for this wonderful book.
Pearl
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joe Podbielan on May 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
found it interesting Nolan went through so much to arrive at such a good place in the annals of baseball. Makes you wonder how many really good players are left out because the powers that be do not give them the time and instruction they need to excel. There are so many that get left out
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marvin P. Ferguson on August 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In my spare time as a kid growing up in the big city of Chicago, I would take my baseball glove, and in tennis shoes, sport shirt, and blue jeans go out into my back yard and throw my tennis ball to my heart's contend against the garage wall—a wall 20 ft high, approx. 50 ft long and joining an apartment building to a two story coach house in the rear.
I loved baseball and always dreamed of being a great baseball pitcher before 35000 fans. Listening to the crowd cheering me on is exhilarating. Fast ball, curve, and junk ball, I loved to strike them out. No!!! I never made it to the big league, but it was fun to dream.
On the pitcher's mound in my back yard I often thought about other great pitchers like Nolan Ryan, and that is why I came to love this book titled: Nolan Ryan: The Making of a Pitcher.
In this biographical sketch of Nolan Ryan, baseball fans will learn about his life when he entered the major league to his retirement.
Truly, Nolan Ryan deserves the respect he gets from the many baseball fans who grew to like him as well as his fellow teammates. And why not? He has an impressive pitching record—100 mph fastball, knee buckling curve ball, 5700 strike outs, and more. Wow! No wonder he has gone down in baseball history as one of the greatest pitchers of all time. And thousands of fans get excited every time they watch him play.
Rob Goldman, author, has done an excellent job in sharing with baseball fans of all ages this insightful baseball story, I strongly recommend it, give it five stars, and I'm Marvin P. Ferguson, author of BOYS ON THE GOLD COAST.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brian Maitland on August 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
What a pleasant surprise this biography was. Given Nolan Ryan's unique pro career path--starts off in New York wins a World Series but has yet to become the Ryan Express. Moves to California and lights it up but with the Angels not the higher profile Dodgers. Moves onto his native Texas where he is still a star with the Astros but becomes truly a legend with the Rangers.

I am so fascinated by his career arc and his time with the California Angels is what I really wanted to learn about. Learn about all that I did as this author (who was the Angels' batboy back in Ryan's day and became his good friend) really knew his subject well and can write worth a storm. I've put his Once They Were Angels on the backburner and now I'm definitely going to pick that up seeing how well this guy writes.

Learning about Ryan's early adoption of training and being so open to new ideas such as using the long toss to warm up and keep his arm in shape, running foul line to foul line sprints over distance endurance type lengths and weight training especially focusing on his legs realizing a power pitcher needs strong legs even more than a strong arm.

It's also crazy to learn how with two of his record seven no-hitters that Ryan had terrible warmup sessions in the bullpen prior to those games.

The other great thing about this bio is the author focuses in on what we want to learn about--Ryan's MLB career. He finds the right balance in just giving us enough of his childhood and post-playing career as a sort of appetizer and dessert respectively to the main dish.

So, if you did not already have great respect for one of the true greats in baseball and sports in general, you will after this great read.
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