Nolan Ryan is the greatest pitcher in Texas Rangers history and one of the best in the history of Major League Baseball. Ryan only spent five years with the Rangers, but they were historic seasons. Over those five seasons Ryan went 51-39 3.43 ERA in 129 starts with 939 strikeouts.
Ryan led the league in strikeouts in 1989 with 301 and also made the All-Star team. In 1990 Ryan once again led the league in strikeouts with 232. Although the strikeout numbers did decrease for Ryan each season after his ridiculous 301 strikeout season in 1989.
Ryan was also 42-years-old when he came to the Rangers in 1989. Not too many 42-year-old players can strikeout 301 batters in a single season. Ryan is actually 8th all-time with 383 strikeouts in a single season. He also ranks 1st all-time in total career strikeouts with 5714.
It is clear Nolan Ryan was a feared pitcher during his playing days. Ryan did only play five seasons with the Rangers, but made a obvious mark on the team. Many would believe Fergie Jenkins is better suited as the Rangers best pitcher. Jenkins went 93-72 with 3.56 ERA in 197 games with 895 strikeouts.
Jenkins spent six seasons with the team, but gave up a league leading 37 homers in 1975 then allowed a league leading 40 homers in 1979. Jenkins did have success with the Rangers, but also never made an All-Star game with the team. At times Jenkins struggled with control and command which hurt his strikeout numbers.
Nolan Ryan started his career with the Rangers at age 41 while Jenkins started at 31. Ryan was 10 years older than Jenkins and managed to get more strikeouts than him in less seasons. Jenkins is an excellent pitcher, but Ryan had a better career with the Rangers.
The MLB may never see another pitcher strikeout 300 plus batters at 40 or older. Some statistics may show that other Rangers pitchers had better careers. Although the mark left by Nolan Ryan on the Texas Rangers fanbase will never be touched.