Nolan Ryan pitches his first no-no or the California Angels on May 15, 1973; Photo:

“The Ryan Express” a.k.a. baseball pitching elite, Nolan Ryan, pitched his first no-no on this day in 1973 against the Kansas City Royals as a California Angel, giving up three walks and striking out 12.

The first feat of a career-spanning seven no-hitters, which is still uncontested, the good ol’ Texan upstart was only 26, but already had people talking about how he broke catchers’ bones with his fastball.

Ryan was (and still is) a lot of things to a lot of baseball fans. And though he may not have pitched a no-no on acid like Doc Ellis, pretty sure his seven-bid feat will be a benchmark for a long, long time.

Country jangler Jerry Jeff Walker put it best in this eponymous homage:

Nolan Ryan, he’s a hero to us all
Nolan Ryan, he stands straight, he stands tall
He don’t mess around boys
He just throws a mean fast ball