Nolan Ryan: born: January 31, 1947 in Refugio, TX 5,386 innings 1966-1993
Tom House: born: April 29, 1947 in Seattle, WA 536 innings 1971-1978
Tom House was the Texas Rangers pitching coach 1985-1992. Nolan Ryan was three months older and far more experienced and accomplished in pitching when he joined the Texas Rangers in 1989 at age 42. What the heck could Tom House teach Nolan Ryan about pitching?
Ryan had already started his strike out (SO) comeback at age 40 by leading the National League in 1987 and 1988 in Houston. Ryan led American League in 1989 and 1990 (age 43). In 1991 Ryan led the AL in SO per 9 innings (SO9) at age 44.
Maybe Tom House just helped extend Ryan's comeback. Some facts about Tom House:
- used steroids while pitching in the 1970s
- coached Ryan in Texas 1989-1992
- credited by Ryan in Ryan's 1999 Hall of Fame acceptance speech
- in 2005 admitted using steroids in the 1970s.
Tom House is also noted for:
- becoming a pitching coach guru with many videos
- catching Hank Aaron's record breaking 715th home run; House was Aaron's teammate (1971-1974) and caught it in the Braves bullpen; see:
Those 1973 Atlanta Braves: was there something in the water? Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The great Hank Aaron hit 40 homers in 1973 in only 392 at bats at age 39. 1973 was Aaron's personal best in AB/HR: 9.8. Second best: age 37, 10.5 AB per HR. Aaron entered the 1973 season with 713 career home runs, one short of Babe Ruth's record. Aaron hit his career high for a single season at age 37, the same as Barry Bonds, in 1971 with 47 in only 495 at bats.
House became the pitching coach for the Texas Rangers in 1985, during which time he was notable for his work with Nolan Ryan. During Ryan's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 25, 1999, he credited House as a positive influence on his career, saying:
"While I was [with the Rangers] I was very fortunate to have a pitching coach by the name of Tom House. And Tom and I are of the same age and Tom is a coach that is always on the cutting edge. And I really enjoyed our association together and he would always come up with new training techniques that we would try and see how they would work in to my routine. And because of our friendship and Tom pushing me, I think I got in the best shape of my life during the years that I was with the Rangers."
Former pitcher Tom House describes past steroid use 5/3/2005 usatoday.com
Former major league pitcher Tom House used steroids during his career and said performance-enhancing drugs were widespread in baseball in the 1960s and 1970s, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday...
... he and several teammates used amphetamines, human growth hormone and "whatever steroid" they could find in order to keep up with the competition.
"I pretty much popped everything cold turkey," House said. "We were doing steroids they wouldn't give to horses. That was the '60s, when nobody knew. The good thing is, we know now. There's a lot more research and understanding." ...
House, 58, estimated that six or seven pitchers per team were at least experimenting with steroids or human growth hormone. He said players talked about losing to opponents using more effective drugs.
"We didn't get beat, we got out-milligrammed," he said. "And when you found out what they were taking, you started taking them." ...
"I'd like to say we were smart, but we didn't know what was going on," he said. "We were at the tail end of a generation that wasn't afraid to ingest anything. As research showed up, guys stopped."
Having surpassed 40, Ryan lost essentially no velocity on his fastball and still had the big breaking curve he had learned from Tom Morgan in California. In addition, as an Astro he added to his repertoire a more effective changeup taught him by former Cincinnati pitcher Joe Nuxhall; Ryan later put a circle change learned from scout Red Murff into the mix...
Going into Ryan’s final season in Houston, Pete Rose made a stronger statement: “At the age of 41, Nolan Ryan is the top power pitcher in the league. You can talk about Dwight Gooden, you can talk about Mike Scott, you can talk about whoever you want, but none of them throw as consistently hard as Ryan does.”
Ryan continued smoking pitches past hitters years after his contemporaries had retired thanks to a training regimen developed by Gene Coleman, Houston’s strength and conditioning adviser. Adhering to the doctor’s weightlifting, running, exercise, and stationary bicycling program, Ryan maintained the body of a man 20 years younger...
The game’s oldest player devised daily offseason workouts that lasted up to five hours. During the season, on nights he pitched, Ryan rode a stationary bicycle for at least 45 minutes after the game. Between starts, baseball’s bionic man spent more than two hours every day lifting weights, running, and biking. Rangers pitching coach Tom House said of his star pupil, “He’s still throwing hard because he does what it takes to prepare himself. He’s like the mailman. Nothing keeps him from making his rounds in the weight room.” ...
In February 2008, Ryan was named president of the Texas Rangers ...
The science behind the artistry of Nolan Ryan involved the full utilization of his body and mind, knowing when to accept instruction and when to follow his own instincts.
The SABR bio does not include the word steroid, not even to refute the idea that Ryan used PED.
Nolan Ryan, power pitcher into his 40s. Did he use steroids? Saturday, August 9, 2014
Nolan Ryan: more on possible steroid use. Tuesday, August 31, 2010
How come no one challenges Nolan Ryan? He played long enough to have used steroids. His longevity is suspicious. Jose Canseco has admitted using steriods during his MVP season of 1988. Ryan played from 1966 through 1993 (age 46). Ryan and Canseco were even teammates in Texas for 22 games in 1992 and for 60 games in 1993. Ryan's final seasons leading the league in strike outs were at the ages of 40, 41, 42, 43. His previous age as league strike out leader was 32. Ryan went seven years without being strike out king until he recovered the touch in 1987 at age 40. Ryan pitched a record seven no hitters at these ages: 26, 26, 27, 28, 34, 43, 44. This anecdotal evidence is completely ignored. Did Nolan Ryan use banned and/or illegal stuff to enhance his performance? I have no idea but I find it odd that the steroid zealots have such narrow vision.
|Rank||Player (yrs, age)||Innings Pitched||Throws|
|1.||Cy Young+ (22)||7356.0||R|
|2.||Pud Galvin+ (15)||6003.1||R|
|3.||Walter Johnson+ (21)||5914.1||R|
|4.||Phil Niekro+ (24)||5404.0||R|
|5.||Nolan Ryan+ (27)||5386.0||R|
|6.||Gaylord Perry+ (22)||5350.0||R|
|7.||Don Sutton+ (23)||5282.1||R|
|8.||Warren Spahn+ (21)||5243.2||L|
|9.||Steve Carlton+ (24)||5217.2||L|
|10.||Pete Alexander+ (20)||5190.0||R|
|Rank||Player (yrs, age)||Strikeouts||Throws|
|1.||Nolan Ryan+ (27)||5714||R|
|2.||Randy Johnson (22)||4875||L|
|3.||Roger Clemens (24)||4672||R|
|4.||Steve Carlton+ (24)||4136||L|
|5.||Bert Blyleven+ (22)||3701||R|
|6.||Tom Seaver+ (20)||3640||R|
|7.||Don Sutton+ (23)||3574||R|
|8.||Gaylord Perry+ (22)||3534||R|
|9.||Walter Johnson+ (21)||3509||R|
|10.||Greg Maddux+ (23)||3371||R|
Statistic Description: 9 x SO / IP For recent years, leaders need 1 IP per team game played; Minimum of 1000 IP
|Rank||Player (yrs, age)||Strikeouts per 9 IP||Throws|
|1.||Randy Johnson (22)||10.6098||L|
|2.||Kerry Wood (14)||10.3174||R|
|3.||Pedro Martinez (18)||10.0398||R|
|4.||Nolan Ryan+ (27)||9.5481||R|
|5.||Max Scherzer (7, 29)||9.5415||R|
|6.||Tim Lincecum (8, 30)||9.5034||R|
|7.||Trevor Hoffman (18)||9.3608||R|
|8.||Clayton Kershaw (7, 26)||9.3601||L|
|9.||Sandy Koufax+ (12)||9.2775||L|
|10.||Oliver Perez (12, 32)||9.2685||L|
|1975 Topps Tom House baseball card|