Editor's Note: As May begins, I'd like to take time to once again thank everyone who came to the blog last month. April saw more than 2,400 visitors, more than double my previous monthly high (August of last year, if you're curious). That brings the total visitors up to nearly 12,500 a number that amazes me, and I'm very grateful for everyone who comes by.
May 1st, 1991
I know that's a hopelessly vague description for the date, especially since given my standards, every day is 'History Made' but it's really the only way to describe a day on which two significant historical events occurred. Both are outstanding individual achievements, although they are in many ways different.
The first took place in Arlington, Texas. Despite pitching to a pretty solid Blue Jay line-up that included Robby Alomar, Joe Carter and John Olerud, Nolan Ryan threw his record seventh no-hitter. The list of Ryan’s accomplishments is well known (perhaps summed up best by George Scott who said that "nobody throws harder than Nolan Ryan. Not even God.") and while the seven no-hitters are in some way a function of luck--he probably could just as easily have thrown only three with some bad breaks--the sheer number of them, seven, is awe-inspiring. At the time, Ryan was personally responsible for nearly four percent of all modern no-hitters, a remarkable run of single-game achievement.
Meanwhile, in Oakland, Rickey Henderson stole the 939th base of his career: third, off my then-favorite player, Matt Nokes, breaking the record held by Lou Brock. (Brock was in attendance to watch Rickey break his record. Henderson graciously observed that "Lou Brock was certainly a great base stealer, but today I'm the greatest of all-time;" real modest there Rickey.) Henderson is one of the greatest players who ever lived and of course the still stolen base champion with 1,406 a total that no active player is even close to and one he figures to hold at least as long as Nolan Ryan has the record for most no-hit games.