Sport: Throwing Smoke

When California Angels Righthander Nolan Ryan pitches, curious things happen. Batters edge back from the plate, opposing managers bench their red-hot hitters, Angel outfielders let fly balls drop in for base hits, and the Angel catcher stuffs a half-inch-thick pad of foam rubber into his glove. The reason: Ryan throws so hard he rewrites the basic customs of the game. Batters inch back because they are scared, managers yank top hitters because they can't connect on high fastballs, Ryan's own outfielders are lulled to sleep by the preponderance of infield outs his pitches...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!