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Nolan Ryan ’20 served as editor-in-chief of the Col­legian from 2019 – 2020.
Courtesy | Nolan Ryan

This past Sat­urday, Hillsdale alumnus and former Col­legian editor-in-chief Nolan Ryan got the sur­prise of his life when Texan Senator Ted Cruz tagged him in a tweet. 

“I was actually recording an online class for my stu­dents, and as I was talking into my camera, I saw that my phone had buzzed and a Twitter noti­fi­cation popped up saying Ted Cruz and men­tioned,” said Ryan. “I thought ‘that can’t be right’ and just con­tinued teaching.” 

When he checked after class, Ryan quickly realized what had hap­pened — he had been mis­taken for another Nolan Ryan, the hall-of-fame baseball player. 

A Major League Baseball pitcher, Ryan played for four teams during his 27 year career and holds the current strikeout record by over 800 strikeouts. According to Pro­fessor of History Pual Moreno, a baseball fan­tastic and Ryan’s freshman year Western Her­itage pro­fessor, he also holds the record for the most walks “because as great as he was, he also played for some pretty ter­rible teams.” Ryan is perhaps most famous for his fist­fight with Chicago White Sox third baseman Robin Ventura on the pitcher’s mound. 

Nolan Ryan, the leg­endary former major league baseball pitcher for the Texas Rangers. | Sat­urday Evening Post

The leg­endary baseball player also happens to be a sup­porter of Cruz’s recent National Child Iden­ti­fi­cation Act. The Senator was sharing the baseball player’s praise of his bill in a tweet when he acci­den­tally tagged Ryan. 

Ryan promptly responded to the tweet, which has since been deleted, with a clar­i­fying statement. 

“I would be amazed if @SenTedCruz were quoting me. But believe it or not, Twitter, I’m not the record-breaking Hall of Famer who tussled with Robin Ventura.” 

Because his Twitter account is ver­ified with a blue check and linked to the profile section under the baseball player’s google search results, Ryan said he is mis­taken for his famous coun­terpart on social media almost daily. 

“It’s usually just some random person tweeting baseball trivia and tagging me in it,” said Ryan. “The one other time some­thing like this hap­pened was when a local Fox News station in Texas did a story with Nolan Ryan, and they men­tioned me in a tweet.”

Ryan said his name also serves as an in-person con­ver­sation starter and acts as a great ice-breaker when meeting people with baseball knowledge. 

“His name jumped off the page,” Moreno recalls thinking when he saw Ryan’s name on the class roster. “Your name’s actually Nolan Ryan?” Moreno remembers asking Ryan when he first met him in class. 

Moreno also joked that despite Ryan’s con­nection to the baseball player, he never took his history of baseball class. 

In an attempt to quell the flood of tags he receives, Ryan recently added a dis­claimer to his Twitter bio that he is “not *that* Nolan Ryan.” 

“The Ted Cruz tweet just made me laugh,” said Ryan. “I’m sure either him or his staffer searched Nolan Ryan and mine was the one ver­ified one that came up.”