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on July 13, 2014
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.
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on June 23, 2014
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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on May 19, 2014
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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on August 23, 2014
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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on January 7, 2015
Am currently reading this wonderful story of my absolute favorite ball player. The book just goes into the details of his life and truly emulates the making of a pitcher. That it gives an insight into his personal life from the beginning of his marriage is precious to me.
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on August 5, 2014
I was always a Nolan Ryan fan. In 1979, I saw virtually all of his starts at The Big A...and was heartbroken when he left for the Astros. How can you not like his determination, dedication and competitiveness? This book underscores all of that. He has been baseball's second John Wayne - after Ted Williams.
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on June 29, 2014
First, I have to say that I've been a Nolan Ryan fan since his early days with the Angels. Thus, I'm partial to the man and his abilities. That said, Rob Goldman did a fine job of capturing not only Ryan, but also the sometimes turmoil that was going on around him. Goldman does a superb job of capturing the feats and the flaws of Nolan Ryan. The reader also gets insight into Ryan's feelings about different things that happened during his career, the pleasures and the pain. I was surprised to learn how many baseball writers and "experts" don't see Ryan and a great pitcher, and undeserving of the accolades he's received.

Ryan brought credibility to the Rangers not only on the field but also in the front office. His influence help make them winners. When they let him go after the 2013 season, they not only lost credibility, they lost a winning influence. The 2014 season, at least so far, demonstrates this.

I found a couple of errors in the book. After Ryan threw his fourth no-hitter with the Angels, he has Ryan in his next outing pitching five innings of no hit ball before Hank Arron gets a weak single. I was at that game, and I recall it going into the seventh inning. But I could be wrong. He also has Nolan and Ruth Ryan meeting Bobby Valentine at the California State Fair in Pomona CA. It was actually the Los Angeles County Fair, in Pomona. The California State Fair is in Sacramento. Minor flaws in a wonderful book.

For baseball fans in general, and Ryan fans in particular, this is a book well worth buying and reading.
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on August 2, 2014
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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on March 3, 2015
Nolan Ryan is my favorite all time athlete of any sport. Nolan clearly is a once in a generation freak of nature. The book is greatly detailed, and takes you into Nolans world. Great competitor, and fiercely dedicated to his craft and his teammates, it's a shame that with his skill he didn't play on many really good teams, as he should have been both a perennial cy young finalist and World Series regular. Find me a 45 year old man that can hit 95 + on the radar gun for over twenty years! Great book I want to read it again!
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on March 2, 2015
I'm not really a sports person. I watch parts of a couple games of baseball a season and maybe twice that many football games, seldom basketball, hardly ever hockey, and soccer, I don't even understand that one. But Nolan Ryan I remember from a few years ago. I recall his name and talk of his talent and his fast ball and his no-hitters and how "good" he was at his craft so when I saw this book, I thought it would be worthwhile to read. It was without doubt a worthwhile read for me. The discipline and determination of the man are impressive along with his work ethic. My only complaint with the book is that I thought there would be more explanation of the human mechanics/engineering of pitching and there was very little of that- or at least there was less than I had hoped as I wanted to find out how the good pitchers do what they do. Bottom line though is that I am not at all sorry that I bought and read the book.
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