Ten Awesome Cards Of Hall Of Fame Flamethrower Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan is widely regarded as one of the most renowned pitchers in the history of baseball. His distinctive qualities have made him exceptionally popular among collectors, surpassing the popularity of almost every other pitcher in history. Undoubtedly, he is an all-time legend.

But who is Nolan Ryan? What are some of his top cards? And what about his debut card?

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Who is Nolan Ryan?

Nolan Ryan is considered one of the most talented and celebrated pitchers in the history of baseball. He has had a unique career in which he has pitched for 27 seasons in the major leagues, and his record is one of the most impressive in the sport. There are many factors that define him as a great player, and we will discuss some of them shortly.

Throughout the history of the major league, Nolan Ryan recorded a higher number of strikeouts (5,714) than any other pitcher, surpassing the rest by over 800. Additionally, he surpassed all other pitchers by walking a greater number of batters (2,795), exceeding the next pitcher by over 950. When considering all pitchers in history, Ryan holds the record for allowing the fewest hits per 9 innings pitched, with an average of 6.6 hits per 9 innings.

Ryan was one of the major hitters in the history of the league, but he was uncomfortable facing pitchers who threw hard and struck out a lot of hitters. He didn’t allow many hits and was wild at times.

Tied with Walter Johnson, Ryan holds the record for throwing 18 two-hitters. Additionally, he shares the record for the most one-hitters in history with Bob Feller, having thrown 12 of them. These achievements were not by chance. Sandy Koufax follows closely with four one-hitters thrown in his career. However, “The Ryan Express” surpasses them all with an outstanding seven no-hitters. This exceptional number, “7”, truly distinguishes Nolan Ryan from the rest.

He holds the record for the most strikeouts in a single season with 383. He finished his career with a 3.19 ERA (112 ERA+) and a record of 324-292. Despite playing for a number of mediocre teams, he won over 300 games in his career. He won the ERA title twice and the strikeouts title eleven times, including six seasons with over 300 strikeouts. Ryan was an eight-time All-Star during his record-setting career.

Nolan Ryan, one of the starting pitchers, holds the 20th position all-time with a career total of 83.6 WAR. In 1999, when he became eligible, Ryan was chosen for the Baseball Hall of Fame with an overwhelming 98.8% of the votes.

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Nolan Ryan: Legend

Ryan, few collectors and fans of creativity have captured more than him. Ryan’s ability to balance off hitters rivals only a few, such as the Young Cy Awards, ERA, losses, and wins, in terms of dominance over his pitching peers.

Ryan, a rising new celebrity at an age when most pitchers are seeing their strikeouts in the league and playing golf off the leading 40s, has spent times four seeing his strikeouts in the league.

He featured in television advertisements, engaged in a physical altercation with a player four decades his junior, achieved recognition for his resilience following an incident where he was struck in the face by a comebacker, and overall, he was one of the well-known baseball players to those who lacked knowledge about the sport. If individuals were unfamiliar with baseball, he was among the baseball players they were familiar with. Following an incident where his face was injured, he gained fame for his durability while pitching. He fought with a player who was 40 years younger. He made appearances in television commercials.

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Have you ever wondered if there has been a book written about Nolan Ryan, the legendary baseball player? Well, the entire book can be about Nolan Ryan and it has been written. MLB.Com has an article that highlights some great aspects of this book. Don’t miss out on reading the whole book!

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Nolan Ryan baseball cards

Following those years, Nolan Ryan has made appearances on 19,741 occasions since his first appearance, as stated by the Trading Card Database (TCDB.Com). This comprises a substantial amount during his remarkable 27 seasons as a participating player, along with numerous additional instances.

Instead of looking at a few cards played on different teams, we will take a look at a few key cards on his track. It won’t even be a list of his most expensive cards. Obviously, this article won’t be an exhaustive list of Ryan’s cards.

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The Nolan Ryan rookie card

Nolan Ryan’s debut card is among the most legendary cards from the 1960s. It is highly coveted in the collector’s community and has maintained its popularity for several decades.

The card is part of the 1968 Topps collection and is designated as card number 177. Jerry Koosman, a fellow New York Mets pitching prospect, shares the rookie card with Ryan. It is worth noting that Koosman had an impressive career, winning 222 games and maintaining a 3.36 ERA with over 2,500 strikeouts across 19 seasons in the major leagues.

The recent sales of versions 7 PSA range between $2,800 and $3,300. This card remains in-demand and is accordingly priced. While the population of graded copies of this card is approaching 15,000, it remains an in-demand card.

In a PSA 9 case? Those will cost you around $100,000.

Seeking something more challenging? Explore the O-Pee-Chee, Milton Bradley, or 1968 Topps Venezuelan editions.

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1968 topps nolan ryan

1969 Topps: The second-year card

In the 6th series of the Topps 1969 release, it can be challenging to come across these cards. The card displays a 22-year-old Ryan, who is depicted as a young and inexperienced player, showcasing both his first and second solo cards.

Recently, a PSA 8 has been fetching prices ranging from $1,900 to $2,300. PSA has only graded two PSA 10’s and 123 PSA 9’s. Out of the total graded cards, 867 have received a PSA 8 grade, while PSA has graded nearly 8,000 copies of the card.

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1971 Topps: The Tough Black-Border Beauty

The 1971 Topps card with classic black borders is a great-looking card. They are incredibly sensitive in condition, but are there over 326,000 cards graded by PSA in the set? There are less than 250 PSA 10s, and over 326,000 cards graded by PSA in the set. They are incredibly sensitive in condition, but are there over 326,000 cards graded by PSA in the set? The card makes for a great-looking card with its classic black borders.

The 1971 Topps Nolan Ryan card has been strongly selling for prices between $1,675 and $2,650. It has been graded by PSA 5,749 times, with only PSA 9s and 10s.

Is Crown Royal a desire for anyone else? The card on the mound is a classic vintage with an exciting shot of Ryan, but the black borders are quite tough.

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Psychedelic 1972 Topps: California Dreaming

Ryan’s first appearance as a member of the California Angels also marks the 1972 Topps set, which is probably one of the most recognizable designs in the history of baseball cards.

It is easier to find slabs of 8 PSA in Topps 1972 while they are still for sale. They are listed for sale between $375-600, which is for cards earlier than this.

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1974 Topps: Single Season K Record

I’m calling out the reasons for couple A’s card, Ryan Nolan Topps 1974. It’s a beautiful vintage design that serves as inspiration for Topps Heritage 2023. It’s also the year after Ryan broke the all-time single-season strikeout record. If you have a Ryan Nolan Topps 1974 card, you can flip it over and see “383” on the back.

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A PSA 8 copy can cost anywhere from $175 to $225. The last PSA 9 that was sold went for a whopping $1,650. Only PSA 7’s are currently available, while there are a total of 227 PSA 9’s in existence.

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1975 Topps Mini: Good thing, small package

The cards, although smaller, are similar to the base Topps set. A test issue, the 1975 Topps Mini is a unique set in its own right. If the most recognizable vintage Topps design isn’t the 1972 Topps, then the 1975 Topps probably takes the crown.

The Nolan Ryan card holds the position of number 500 in the set and is the most extensively graded card with 1,568 copies authenticated by PSA. Acquiring one of the 339 PSA 8’s will require an expenditure of $400-550. It is worth noting that there are merely 37 PSA 9’s available and no PSA 10’s.

Collection your to add Ryan mid-70’s a for choice excellent another #500, Topps 1975 base the on appears course, also Ryan of.

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1981 Topps: Houston, we have a legend

The agreement lasted for a period of 4 years and involved a total sum of $4.5 million. In the latter part of 1979, the Houston Astros entered into a contractual agreement with Nolan Ryan, a free agent, thus establishing him as the inaugural professional sportsman to earn an annual income exceeding $1 million.

Ryan did not appear on a regular card issue in his Astros uniform until 1980, when he was featured as a member of the Astros in the Topps Burger King card.

There are also 41 PSA 10s available. In a PSA 9 case, these are sold for approximately $160 to $200. However, it has been more than four decades since its release. With nearly 1,000 of them encased in PSA 9, they seem to be a relatively recent option, with over 5,000 copies evaluated and rated by PSA.

Ryan’s contract ushered in a new era of free agency, which saw the debut of competitors Donruss and Fleer in 1981. Additionally, Ryan appeared in the 1981 O-Pee-Chee set, both in the regular gray version and the back version of Coca Cola’s Topps set.

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1989 Upper Deck: Ryan, Texas Ranger

The emergence on the scene of Upper Deck occurred in 1989, which also happened to be a significant transitional year for the hobby in 1981. Ryan, who had been with the Houston team, moved to Arlington and joined the Rangers before the 1989 season, subsequently switching teams.

The cards were unique in their appearance, featuring high-quality photographs, a pristine white material, holographic elements, and packaging that included foil. What made them even more extraordinary was the unexpected price of $1 per pack.

Ryan Nolan, a member of the Astros, made an appearance in the main series, showcasing his impressive pitching skills. The card featuring a remarkable 3-exposure picture of Ryan is not notable because it is valuable or rare, but rather because it is particularly exceptional. The card can be valued at $60-80 when graded as a PSA 10 slab. Alternatively, it can be sold for $20 or less when graded as a PSA 9.

House, a seasoned pitching instructor, popularized a warm-up and training technique in which Ryan is depicted throwing a football. The exceptional Upper Deck photography team added a special touch once again, although the card is not uncommon or costly. Ryan is featured as a player for the Rangers in the High-Numbered series.

The enjoyment of this day continues, and both the fans enjoyed the card. The card sells for $80 and $100 between, in a slab of 10 PSA.

The year 1989 was the heart of the junk wax era, and Ryan has plenty of cards from that era, with lots of choices and a number of oddballs, plus the unlicensed, lesser-known manufacturers. Tiffany Topps, perhaps with the exception of being affordable, offers a wide range of options.

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1994 Topps: final active career card

Ryan Nolan finally knocked off the mound, and it wasn’t his ineffectiveness or age that is often remembered. What isn’t often remembered is that he was 46 years old in his 27th season, and on September 22, 1993, he pitched his final game.

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Ryan tore a ligament in his elbow during the game. Anyway, he would likely have retired at the end of the season. It’s an interesting side note to history that Ryan finally got off the mound, but it was likely that he was a CEI.

Surprisingly, Ryan’s final card produced by Topps in 1994 is actually quite valuable, with a price range of $500-$600 in recent sales, despite the low population of this particular card.

Seeking a more demanding experience? Seek out the Topps Gold or Topps Spanish edition.

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2022 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autograph

I picked this card because it’s a nice-looking raw card that has been graded between $200-260 when sold. Additionally, it’s a fairly representative ultra-modern autograph card of Ryan-certified, and it’s not a super low-pop autograph.

Browse eBay for the autographed 2022 Topps Archives Fan Favorites card featuring Nolan Ryan.

Since the 1960s, autographs from Ryan have always been in high demand, making them rare. It is more challenging to find certified autographs with a lower population, such as those numbered /25, /10, /5, and, of course, plenty of 1/1’s.

Card Total PSA Pop Recent Sale Pop Recent Sale Price
1968 Topps Mets Rookie Stars #177 14,854 PSA 7 = 1,659 PSA 7 = $2,800-3,300
1969 Topps Nolan Ryan #533 7,970 PSA 8 = 867 PSA 8 = $1,900-2,300
1971 Topps Nolan Ryan #513 5,749 PSA 8 = 589 PSA 8 = $1,675-$2,650
1972 Topps Nolan Ryan #595 6,095 PSA 8 = 1,250 PSA 8 = $375-600
1974 Topps Nolan Ryan #20 5,947 PSA 8 = 1,635 PSA 8 = $175-225
1975 Topps Mini Nolan Ryan #500 1,568 PSA 8 = 339 PSA 8 = $400-550
1981 Topps Nolan Ryan #240 5,172 PSA 9 = 957 PSA 9 = $160-200
1989 Upper Deck Nolan Ryan #145 2,022 PSA 10 = 659 PSA 10 = $60-80
1989 Upper Deck Nolan Ryan #774 1,605 PSA 10 = 568 PSA 10 = $80-100
1994 Topps Nolan Ryan #34 685 PSA 10 = 136 PSA 10 = $500-600
2022 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Autograph Nolan Ryan NA NA RAW = $200-225

Nolan Ryan League Leader cards

Here at Cardlines, we adore vintage Topps league leader cards, and believe you should as well.

This list isn’t exhaustive, but here, we’ll highlight five of our favorite moments from Ryan’s career. As you might expect, Ryan has appeared on the league leader cards for a number of categories during his career, including being the all-time leader in career strikeouts.

On card #67, titled “1972 Strikeout Leaders”, Topps decided to feature both Nolan Ryan and NL strikeout leader Steve Carlton together in 1973. This single card showcases a remarkable total of 9,850 career strikeouts for those who are interested in keeping count.

Tom Seaver, another inductee of the Hall of Fame, was paired with Ryan on the Strikeout Leaders card, #207 in 1974.

Seaver (109.9), Carlton (90.2), and Ryan (81.3) combined in terms of career WAR, those three pitchers were simply exceptional. Once again, it was Ryan and Seaver in 1977. Ryan was once again matched with Carlton on the 1975 Topps Strikeout Leaders card.

In terms of the Strikeout Leaders card, Niekro accumulated an impressive number of victories and strikeouts. However, it is worth noting that Niekro’s approach to the game differed significantly from that of power pitchers such as Ryan, Carlton, and Seaver. Interestingly, on the 1978 Strikeout Leaders card, Ryan was matched with the knuckleball specialist, Phil Niekro.

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Each of these cards showcases two Hall of Famers, and each can be obtained in a PSA 8 case for under $100 each, in many instances significantly lower. These make excellent additions to your collection if you’re a supporter of Ryan and his fellow Hall of Fame starters from the 1970s.

Card Total PSA Pop Recent Sale Pop Recent Sale Price
1973 Topps Strikeout Leaders #67 1,711 PSA 8 = 552 PSA 8 = $50-100
1974 Topps Strikeout Leaders #207 1,534 PSA 8 = 586 PSA 8 = $40-100
1975 Topps Strikeout Leaders #312 1,961 PSA 8 = 924 PSA 8 = $35-60
1977 Topps Strikeout Leaders #6 1,248 PSA 8 = 457 PSA 8 = $55-80
1978 Topps Strikeout Leaders #206 2,004 PSA 8 = 724 PSA 8 = $20-30

Why You Should Have an Affection for Vintage Topps Baseball “League Leader” Cards.

Final thoughts on the top 10 Nolan Ryan baseball cards

For every budget and preference, there is a Ryan card available that covers his entire career, which spanned multiple eras. Among the most accomplished and revered pitchers in Major League history, Nolan Ryan stands out as the most dominant and unique one.

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More Cardlines top baseball card rookie coverage

  • Willie Mays.
  • Justin Verlander.
  • Billy Wagner.
  • Todd Helton.
  • Frank Thomas.
  • Miguel Cabrera.
  • Randy Johnson.
  • Mark McGwire.
  • Carlos Beltran.
  • Scott Rolen.
  • Barry Bonds.
  • Derek Jeter.
  • Chipper Jones.
  • Is considered one of the greatest
  • Aaron Judge.
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