There was maybe no more mythical an athlete in the 1980s than Bo Jackson as the Heisman Trophy-winning, video game-terrorizing, MLB All-Star Game MVP was more legend than man during his heyday.
If Bo knows myth, Nolan Ryan is a living folktale come to life. Playing two sports? Pah! Nolan Ryan spits on your notion of lore. Consider 5,714 Ks, 27 seasons of throwing heat, seven no-hitters, 222 complete games, 235 pitches in a single game, and some tasty hot dogs to boot.
So it was that when these two human fables clashed in 1990, there was literal blood.
On September 8, 1990, Bo and the Kansas City Royals ventured to Arlington Stadium in a battle between the then 43 year old Ryan (13-7) and Kevin Appier (11-5). The expected pitchers’ duel came to fruition but was altered when Jackson dug in against Ryan to lead off the top of the second inning.
On the first pitch he saw, Jackson muscled a one-hopper directly back at Ryan’s face who recovered to throw out the speedy Los Angeles Raiders running back, but not before his lip had been split open.
Today, a pitcher in this circumstance would probably be asked to hit the showers early if only as a precaution — and that’s probably the correct course of action! — but Nolan Ryan was Nolan Ryan and Texas is Texas so Nolan remained on the mound and tossed seven shutout innings while striking out eight Royals, including Jackson the next time they faced off in the top of the fourth.
The Rangers ultimately won that game 2-1 on a walk-off Rafael Palmeiro double and now BreakingT, in conjunction with the Lone Star Ball, is bringing you the t-shirt to commemorate a storied moment in Texas obstinance.
You can order one of these MLBPA authorized shirts from THIS LINK. Ordering on BreakingT’s website is secure and you can select from sizes S to 3XL. Delivery is fast, and if you’re not completely satisfied, BreakingT has a money back guarantee.