#50-Nolan Ryan, SP4

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Year Inducted: 1999 (BBWAA, ballot #1, 491/497)

Score: 31185

Longevity, as stat inflating as it may be, is a very undervalued skill, both when it comes to the Hall of Fame and baseball in general.  It’s impossible for a player to be able to do anything if he isn’t on the field.  That’s the primary thing keeping players like Jim Edmonds, Larry Walker and Bobby Grich out of the Hall of Fame-injuries limited how often they could play for a good part of their careers.  The baseball season is also a giant grind, and being able to answer the bell when it’s his turn adds value to a player.  Longevity can come at a price, as the longer a player plays the more likely he is to be an average or below average player, but only the truly best can last out a season for 20 or more years.  Having said all that, who showed more longevity than Nolan Ryan?

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