Rookie Card Year: 1968
Investment Rating: 7.0
Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr., AKA "The Ryan Express," was one of the most intimidating pitchers to ever play the game. With a 100mph fastball and movement to match, Ryan retired in 1993 as the game's all-time strikeout king and dished up a record setting seven no-hitters. Elected into the Hall of Fame in 1999, Ryan is the only player to have his number retired by three different teams for which he played.
Drafted in the 12th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Mets, no one could have conceived that the scrawny kid from Alvin, Texas would end up being one of the most accomplished pitchers of all-time. The eight-time All-Star selection achieved a record of 324-292, with an ERA of 3.12 on route to 5,714 K's. A member of the Miracle Mets of 1969, the eventual World Series Champions, Ryan would spend the rest of his career pursuing another title, which never came. Interesting to note is that despite his seven no-hitters, he never pitched a perfect game and was never named the league's Cy Young winner.
Nolan Ryan Rookie Cards
1968 Topps #177
Nolan Ryan's only rookie card. Unfortunately for collector's, he shares the card, as was the case in the era, with another rookie, Jerry Koosman. It's actually quite fitting in hindsight that Ryan shares his rookie card with the other member of the team with whom he competed, unsuccessfully, for a spot in the starting rotation. The patterned design of the card makes any centering issues, which occur frequently, visibly noticeable. For this reason, a strong centering sub grade is the key to look for when purchasing this card either raw or in graded condition. A must have for any rookie card collector.