Tuesday, February 12, 2013

1992 Coca Cola Nolan Ryan

I think I got this card through Nacho Grande's group break, but I wouldn't swear to it. I was never a fan of the various versions of the Astros' rainbow duds, but that's a pretty sweet jacket that Nolan is rockin'.

The back of the card is dedicated to Ryan's 1987 season. He went 8-16 for a rather mediocre club. But, as the write-up states, he was the the first (only) pitcher to lead his league in Ks and ERA and not win the Cy Young.

I've probably mentioned previously that my wife and I attended Ryan's Houston Astro debut in 1980. Heck of a lot of hype. And Nolan responded with, not a win although he pitched well, but a home run! It was his first ever homer and one of only two in his career. And he hit it off Don Sutton! I remember watching in disbelief as it went over the left field wall.

The game lasted 17 innings with the Dodgers winning, 5-4. My wife and I were not there at the end. We had plans to go to Gilley's Club that evening to see a John Conlee show. He was (and still is) a favorite of ours.

We were sitting at one of those 'picnic-style' tables near the front waiting for the show to start. Then a guy came up and asked us if we'd mind sharing our table with Kenny Stabler (he was the Oilers qb back then) and his group. Hell, why not?!?! And so he sat down with a couple of other people and introduced himself and said thanks for letting them sit there.

He bought a couple of rounds of beer as I recall and had a guy fending off autograph requests while the live show was going on. He signed during the break and he signed an Astros cap my wife was wearing and a Gilley's bumper sticker I dug up. We felt like big shots. LOL

All in all, a very cool day. One I won't forget, that's for sure.

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