EXCLUSIVE: A documentary about major-league icon Nolan Ryan is warming up in the bullpen ahead taking the mound at SXSW this weekend. Director Bradley Jackson’s Facing Nolan asks the question of just where one of baseball’s most dominant pitchers fits into the discussion about the history of the game.
Check out a first-look clip above.
Ryan, a Hall of Famer, played 27 seasons with one of the most feared fastballs in the history of the sport, helping him to 324 career wins, 5,714 strikeouts and a record seven no-hitters, the last of those when he was 44 years old. He also holds record for walks and wild pitches, given up the most grand slams and the most steals of any pitcher.
To get perspective on just what it was like to face Ryan — notorious for pitching inside to keep hitters honest (and a bit scared) — in a career with the New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, Jackson interviewed Ryan as well as his teammates and opponents including “Pudge” Rodriguez, Randy Johnson, Rod Carew, Dave Winfield, Craig Biggio, George Brett, Roger Clemens and Pete Rose. George W. Bush, who owned the Rangers when Ryan played there, also sat down.
Russell Wayne Groves produced the docu, which is executive produced by Reid Ryan, David Check, Reese Ryan, Don Sanders, Ricky Stuart II, and Nolan Ryan.
The pic, which debuts as baseball’s labor unrest has already forced a postponement to the start of its 2022 season, has its world premiere Saturday in the Documentary Spotlight section at Austin-set SXSW, fitting given his Texas roots. It screens at the Zach Theater at 2:45 p.m. CT; in the U.S., it will be available to screen online Sunday at 9 a.m. CT. XYZ Films is handling sales.
SXSW kicks off its in-person edition Friday and runs through March 20.
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