When athletes age, it’s usually never a pretty sight. Some athletes, however, stay in shape through the years and impress with middle-age athleticism. Nolan Ryan looked to be one of those athletes a few years ago when he threw out the first pitch before a Texas Rangers ALCS game in 2010.
The speed of the pitch in 2010 appeared to hover around 70 mph, but his most recent first pitch prior to a Houston Astros‘ season-opening series game against the New York Yankees fell far short of the bar he set four years earlier.
While many were impressed with his first pitch at the Rangers game, no one was impressed with his recent first pitch troubles.
The 67-year-old MLB pitching great was the Rangers’ president and CEO before stepping down in October of 2011, but later accepted a position as special assistant to Astros owner Jim Crane.
Astros fans are excited about the future as long as it doesn’t include pitching like this:
Can you believe this guy threw six career no-hitters and is the all-time MLB career strikeouts record holder? All jokes aside, he is getting up there is age and no arm will ever get stronger after a pitcher retires.
Astros’ legend Craig Biggio was the one receiving the wild pitch and he had to stretch out a little more than he had hoped to even try to make a play on the ball. Biggio was a catcher as well as a second baseman and outfielder for the Astros from 1988-2007, even catching Ryan’s 100th career win with the ‘Stros.
Ryan at least wasn’t too embarrassed as he joked about the pitch after the game, saying that he was trying to locate it where Biggio could make an easy catch and he failed to do so. He told MLB.com:
“I wanted to get it where it was catchable. It wasn’t.”
Better luck next time, Nolan.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.