Texas Rangers

Nolan Ryan’s All-Time Strikeouts Lead Down to Only 1,034

Batters couldn't hit him. Pitchers can't catch him.

You know how you know when you’re a badass? When you own a 1,000-strikeout lead on every other baseball pitcher ever – and you haven’t thrown a pitch in 15 years!

No worries, Nolan Ryan. No worries.

Sure the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Randy Johnson fanned his way into second place on the all-time list last night. At 44, Johnson passed Roger Clemens, and I think we all know The Rocket’s best days are long gone.

(Editor’s aside: Remind me some day to tell you the story of how a mainstream newspaper a little west of here once censored me from writing about Johnson as “Big Unit” because, ya know, it’s a phallic reference. Now you know why I don’t work there anymore. Now, in fact, you kinda already know the story. Oh well, remind me some day to tell it again.)

Nonetheless, Ryan’s throne as strikeout king should be safe until about, oh, forever?

He stands at an unfathomable 5,714. Johnson would have to pitch till he’s 50 to pass him. Next active player on the list, at No. 11, is 42-year-old Greg Maddux, and he’s about 2,300 behind. Pedro Martinez, 15th, is only 36, but he's more than 2,600 behind.

Seriously, go down the list of active strikeout leaders and no one's good enough or young enough to challenge Nolan.

Which brings me to my point: Considering the Rangers’ pitching woes, I say suit up Big Tex. I’d watch. You? -- Richie Whitt