Nolan Ryan has 839 more strikeouts than the pitcher with the second-most strikeouts in MLB history (Randy Johnson).
Think about that for a second.
Yet, the Hall-of-Fame pitcher from Refugio, Texas, is often paired with a memory that had nothing to do with his fiery right arm and everything to do with a flurry of right-uppercuts to the noggin of Chicago White Sox infielder Robin Ventura.
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It all began on Aug. 4, 1993, when a 46-year-old Ryan toed the rubber for the Rangers to face Ventura for a second time in the ball game during the third inning; Ventura hit an RBI single in the first inning.
This time around Ryan was hell-bent on not giving the third baseman anything to hit so he threw up and in on Ventura and nailed him in the right shoulder. Ventura took a few steps toward first base before tossing his helmet to the side and charging at Ryan.
It didn’t take long for Ryan to gain the upper hand as he immediately put Ventura in a headlock and uncorked roughly six uppercuts to Ventura’s head before both benches were able to meet them around the mound where all hell broke loose. Pudge Rodriguez, Ryan’s catcher that day, tried his best to pull Ventura away from Ryan but didn’t have any luck.
Bo Jackson was even involved in the melee.
Perhaps that sparked the Rangers enough to work themselves out of a 2-0 hole to win the game 5-2.