Nolan Ryan was one of the hardest throwers to ever pitch in Major League Baseball. During his astonishing 27-year career, Ryan consistently threw pitches that were in the 100-mph range. Aside from a professional catcher, who would volunteer to practice with someone like that? How about his wife.
During an interview with our friends Lance Zierlein and Charlie Pallilo on Sports Talk 790 in Houston’s “The Drive Home,” Ryan’s son Reid talked about how difficult it was to catch for his dad at home. Reid then stunned us all by revealing that his mom used to catch for Nolan.
“I’d catch him sometimes and at a certain point I’d be like, ‘I can’t do that,'” he recalled. “My mom did too. We’re in Alvin (Texas), you know. We didn’t have any catchers down there. She’d go out there and put on the mask and she’d catch him. He wasn’t throwing 90 but he’d be working on throwing his fastball and getting in shape and stuff like that.”
Reid was then asked if Nolan was throwing at least 80 mph when his mom caught for his dad.
“Probably,” he said. “My mom was a state champ in tennis. She still plays today and she’s quite an athlete. She could handle it.”
In other words, Ruth Ryan is a boss. Nolan Ryan is notorious for throwing gas and intimidating opposing hitters, but his wife was apparently unfazed by her husband’s uncanny ability to burn the seams off a baseball. She can play for my team anytime.
Audio of Reid Ryan’s interview with “The Drive Home” can be heard below: