Nolan Ryan Cards, Rookie Cards and Autographed Memorabilia Guide

Nolan Ryan

Date of Birth: 1/31/1947
Rookie Card Year: 1968
Investment Rating: 7.0


Overview

Pitchers are largely overlooked in the hobby. Nolan Ryan cards and memorabilia are a big exception. His longevity in the game, record-breaking stats and hard-nosed style of play have earned him near universal respect from collectors.

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 O-Pee-Chee Nolan Ryan RC #177

Visually, the 1968 O-Pee-Chee Nolan Ryan rookie card looks almost identical to the more common Topps version. However, this one is a lot tougher to find. The easiest way to identify the OPC card is the copyright on the back of the card. It reads, "PTD. IN CANADA."

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1968 Topps Nolan Ryan RC #177

Unfortunately for collectors, Noaln Ryan shares his iconic rookie card with Jerry Koosman. The patterned design 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. It is a must-have for any rookie card collector.

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Autograph Guide

Nolan Ryan Autographed Memorabilia Buying Guide

Below you will find an example of what Nolan Ryan's authentic signature looks like. This can be used as a first point of reference for determining the legitimacy of autograph memorabilia, but is not a substitute for having your items authenticated by a well-respected professional autograph authentication company. Some of the trusted sources within the sports memorabilia market include the following companies: PSA, JSA, Steiner, and Tristar. Click on any of the images below to view full size photos.

Nolan Ryan Cut Signature Exemplar

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Nolan Ryan Key Signature Attributes: An authentic Nolan Ryan signature autograph will exhibit several distinguishing characteristics. Regardless of  the type of item or when it was signed, look for the following signature features:

  1. Signature is written on a relatively even plane, with a slight incline on the "Ryan."
  2. The autograph is written in cursive.
  3. The letter "N" is defined by an - up, down, up pen stroke, that resembles a letter "L."
  4. The letter "o" is open and flows into a wide looped letter "l."
  5. The letters "a" and "n" are legible with the "a" being open.
  6. The letter "R" is written in a manner where the bottom right down stroke forms a near circle as part of the "y."
  7. The letters "a" and "n" are discernible with the letter "a", again being open at the top.
  8. He often includes one of many inscriptions including his career strikeout total, number of wins, or his Hall of Fame induction year as pictured here.

Nolan Ryan Signed Baseball

Active Listings for Nolan Ryan Signed Baseballs

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Nolan Ryan Signed Jersey

Active Listings for Nolan Ryan Signed Jerseys

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Nolan Ryan Signed Photograph

Active Listings for Nolan Ryan Signed Photographs

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More Info

To find out more about  Nolan Ryan cards and memorabilia, check out the following articles:

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User Comments

  1. My favorite Nolan Ryan card is basically all of them, but it’s a couple that stood out to me and they are the 1990 Topps cards that have the number 5000 written several times in the back ground. The 5k represents his achievement of 5k strikeouts during his career. Each card has a different team he played for through out his career like the Mets, Astros, etc., but all cards have the 5k printed several times in the back ground. These are the most beautiful and energetic Ryan cards I have ever seen and I was very lucky to purchase them on EBay for 0.01 cent. Congrats Mr. Nolan Ryan on a unbelievable and most competitive career.

  2. I have Nolan Ryan Pogos, I also HAD a procline cope of his rookie card until some a**hole took it… I have sent Nolan birthday cards when i was younger and he sent back from black and white picture 5×8″ in size with blue autographs. i look for anything and all things Nolan Ryan

  3. have a signed photo and coin with background of baseballs and coin has above it 1966 & below it 1993.
    Words below that are:
    the RYAN EXXPRESS
    5,714
    Most Care strikeouts
    324
    Wins
    7
    Most Career No Hitters

  4. I have the Nolan Ryan 1991 Rangers card. Very good shape.

  5. Pick up 600 plus Nolan Ryan cards today 69-Mid 2000’s. Cant wait to see what I get. I already know that there is a 69, 70 and 71 Topps in the cards.

  6. Nolan Ryan Topps 1993 finest all star buy back card autograph card only five in the world!!!!! I got one!!!!!!

  7. I have THE 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings HH-62 Die-cut 1 of 1. Would sell for the right price.

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