Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Rick Stelmaszek Saga:Part 5

Jeff Torborg, Art Kusnyer, Tom Egan, Ellie Rodriguez, Alan Ashby, John Russell and Mike Stanley are forever linked with Nolan Ryan and his 7 no-hitters. Those 7 men were the catchers for Ryan's gems. The fact that Rick Stelmaszek is not among that group of 7 annoys me to no end.
Technically, Stelmaszek and Ryan were only teammates from May 20, 1973 to July 28, 1974. Also, technically, only 1 of Ryan's no-hitters happened during that time frame (7/15/73 with Kusnyer catching). Also, all 7 of those catchers did play more than Stelmaszek.
Still, this would have been a great coup for Stelmaszek.
I have previously mentioned
Stelmaszek's place in the record books for catching 4 strike outs in one inning. This forever linked him with pitcher Bill Bonham. Had Stelmaszek been one of the 7 (or had Ryan gotten another with Stelmaszek catching), he would have really had a place in baseball history.
Those 7 catchers rode Ryan's jersey tail into the record books, the Hall of Fame displays and the memorabilia circuit. A nice lithograph signed by the Special Seven brings a decent buck and would have assured Stelmaszek a place in the world of baseball memorabilia.
A lithograph celebrating Nolan Ryan's 7 no-hitters with a little Johngy revision.

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