Texas: Nolan Ryan
While baseball will probably always play second fiddle to football in the state of Texas, several of the best to ever play the game were born in the Lone Star State. As being born in California or Texas becomes more important to reaching the big leagues, more and more players are coming out of the state. There are nearly 100 current players from Texas.
Nine Hall of Famers were born in the state of Texas, including Frank Robinson, Rogers Hornsby, Ernie Banks, Eddie Matthews, Tris Speaker, and Greg Maddux. There’s no reason you couldn’t pick any one of those players and feel confident in your selection. Heck, go out on a limb and pick Clayton Kershaw, who might be, all things considered, the most dominant pitcher in history.
However, because it’s Texas, we have to go with the most outsized personality of the bunch, Nolan Ryan. Everything about baseball’s greatest fireballer screamed Texas, and he remains heavily involved in the Texas Rangers. Ryan won 324 games in the big leagues over 27 seasons, is the all-time leader in strikeouts, holds the modern record for most strikeouts in a single season, and threw seven no-hitters in his career, which is another record that will likely never be broken. His final no-no came in 1991 at the age of 44.