Sunday, September 2, 2018

Review of "Miracle Man," by Nolan Ryan with Jerry Jenkins ISBN 0849909457

Review of
Miracle Man, by Nolan Ryan with Jerry Jenkins ISBN 0849909457

Four out of five stars
 This book was written after the 1991 season, one in which Ryan had a won-lost record of 12 and 6 and struck out over 1 batter per inning. He was also 44 years old at the time. He played two more seasons, his last when he was 46. At the age of 45 he pitched 157 innings and fanned 157 batters. Other people have pitched into their mid-forties, but by that time they were generally junk-ball pitchers, using slow stuff to get batters off balance. Although he lost a bit of velocity in his forties, Ryan was still throwing in the mid-nineties. While it is always foolish to say any record is unbreakable, his 5714 strikeouts seems completely untouchable. This book is his autobiography.
 Since he was a man that never generated any significant scandals during his career, there is nothing in the way of hot stuff or apologies regarding his behavior in this book. Furthermore, Ryan almost completely avoids speaking negatively about his teammates or coaches. Having been in the majors for 25 years when this book was written, there is no question that he has witnessed enough to fill a book with juicy details of the lives and careers of others.  Yet, he chose not to do so.
 This combination has led to a book that is not as lively or as entertaining as other baseball books, where the players bare all about themselves and others. Even though he tossed a record seven no-hit games, the descriptions are very matter-of-fact with no building of tension for the final three outs. Ryan and his co-writer give us his life story in and out of sports with no embellishment or flair.

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