SUGAR LAND —
There’s no arguing Ellie Rodriguez had the best seat in the house for one incredible moment in baseball history.
What’s it like catching Nolan Ryan? “When a man throws 100 miles an hour you got to be on your toes,” said Rodriguez, now the manager of the Atlantic League’s travel team, the Road Warriors.
Catching Nolan Ryan is one thing.
Ellie, though, is one of a lucky seven: One of seven men to catch a Nolan no-hitter. Rodriguez was catching when Ryan and the California Angels blanked the Baltimore Orioles 1-0 on June 1, 1975.
And the final out? Ellie describes it like it was yesterday.
Rodriguez said Ryan was shaky. Ryan threw 147 pitches that day. “He started out maybe 93-94,” recalled Rodriguez. “He was starting out shaky but he was getting his breaking balls over.”
Understandable, considering Ryan later that year had bone chips removed from his right elbow.
Rodriguez spent nine years in the big leagues and was a two-time All-Star.