One of the best pitchers in the history of Major League Baseball, and undeniably one of Texas’ favorite sons, Nolan Ryan’s life and career is favorably recalled in the new documentary Facing Nolan. Directed by Bradley Jackson, and executive produced by Ryan and his son Reid Ryan among others, Facing Nolan focuses on the Hall of Fame pitcher’s upbringing in Alvin, Texas, his initial struggles with the New York Mets despite their 1969 World Series win, and his two decades of dominance with the California Angels, the Houston Astros, and the Texas Rangers. Ryan discusses at length a career that spanned 27 seasons and resulted in seven no-hitters, the single-season strikeout record, and a memorable brawl in 1993 at age 46 with 26-year-old Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox. Facing Nolan also shines a spotlight on the importance of Ryan’s equally competitive wife Ruth Ryan to pushing the pitcher to be the best version of himself on and off the mound. The documentary also features interviews with many Ryan’s teammates, rivals, and peers, including Craig Biggio, George Brett, Rod Carew, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Cal Ripken, Pete Rose, Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez, and Dave Winfield. Facing Nolan, which received its world premiere during this year’s SXSW Film Festival, will screen 7 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Bullock Museum with executive producer Reid Ryan in attendance. Facing Nolan, which is also available for digital and on-viewing, will be available on Blu-Ray beginning Aug. 30. Former Austinite Bradley Jackson previously wrote the locally shot comedy Balls Out and the documentaries Lord Montagu and Dealt. He also co-created and co-wrote the Rooster Teeth live action series Crunch Time. He is currently producing an untitled Milli Vanilli documentary.
Aired: Aug. 16, 2022.