• Kurtis Tatkenhorst

July 11- Nolan Ryan gets his 4,000th Strikeout

1985- On this day in Sports History, Nolan Ryan recorded his 4,000th strikeout to become the first pitcher in Major League Baseball to reach the milestone!

On July 11, 1985, Nolan Ryan of the Houston Astros was the starting pitcher against the New York Mets. Nolan Ryan went into the game with 3,993 career strikeouts and needed seven more to reach 4,000. Danny Heep led off the sixth inning for the Mets and dug himself in an 0-2 count. Ryan then threw Heep a curveball to strike him out. The strikeout made Nolan Ryan become the first pitcher to ever reach 4,000 strikeouts in their career. The crowd at the Astrodome in Houston gave Ryan a standing ovation. Ryan would go on to strikeout the other two outs in the to finish the sixth inning with 4,002. The Astros would go on to win the game over the Mets 4-3 in 12 innings. Nolan Ryan pitched seven innings and allowed seven hits and one earned run while striking out eleven batters.

Howard Castleberry, Houston Chronicle file

Nolan Ryan pitched in the MLB for 27 years. He went on to have 5,714 career strikeouts which is first in MLB history. He is also the only pitcher to have crossed the 5,000 career strikeouts milestone.

To date, there have been four people in MLB history to reach 4,000 career strikeouts. They are Nolan Ryan (5,714), Randy Johnson (4,875), Roger Clemens (4,672), and Steve Carlton (4,136). Carlton reached the 4,000 strikeouts milestone in 1986 while Clemens was in 2003 and Johnson in 2004.

Nolan Ryan was inducted into the Baseball Hall-of-Fame in 1999. In his 27 year career, Ryan held a 324-292 career record. He was an eight time all-star and a World Series Champion in 1969. He had the most strikeouts in a season eleven times in his career. Today, he holds the MLB record in career strikeouts (5,714) and career no-hitters (7).


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Sources:

Associated Press. “Ryan Reaches 4,000 Strikeouts and Goes On, Full Speed Ahead.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 1985

“Career Leaders for Strikeouts.” Baseball Almanac,



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