SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — He’s a local college baseball player with a name so famous, it had his coach saying he had to have him.
As they prepped the field on Thursday for a perfect night for baseball at Sacramento City College, we went in search of a player with the perfect name.
The young man isn’t the star of the team. On this night, he didn’t crack the starting lineup. But his hustle, enthusiasm and persistence haven’t gone unnoticed by his coach.
“He’s had to work through some adversity, and he’s here, and he’s gotten a lot better, and we’re glad to have him,” said Derek Sullivan.
But it wasn’t No. 34’s sportsmanship that first caught the coach’s eye. It was his name.
Sacramento City College did get his man, and 19-year-old Nolan Ryan couldn’t be happier.
“Baseball is in my blood,” he said. “I’ve been playing since I was 3 years old, so this is what I’m used to. This is what I love to do.”
His dad loved it too. He was a pitcher in his college days, and with the last name of Ryan, it was easy to pick a favorite player—arguably the best pitcher to ever play in the majors.
So when he had his son, picking a name was even easier.
But you won’t find this Nolan Ryan on the mound. Shortstop is his territory.
“I love hitting, I love being a fielder,” he said, “but if they want to get me up on the mound, I’m not going to argue with it.”
We tried to get the coach to buy in.
“We had him throw in a couple of side games that we do, but we like him as an infielder,” he said.
With a 12-2 record going into Thursday night’s game, there’s a lot to like on this team, including the young player with a famous name who’s gotten used to the attention.
Ryan is currently recovering from an injury and hopes to get more playing time in the games to come.