Yesterday on ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike Show, one of the Mikes (Greenberg), recounted a conversation he had the night before at the annual White House t-ball game with former Cub Ryne Sandberg.
The subject was intimidating pitchers, and Sandberg confided that the only pitcher he was truly afraid to dig in against, a pitcher who actually caused Ryno to stand one step further from home plate than normal, was Nolan Ryan. Per Greenberg, Sandberg said when he stepped in against Ryan, his only thought was to reach out and drive the ball to right-center field. Pulling the ball was never in Sandberg's plans against Ryan.
Sandberg also said that if one was fortunate enough to hit the ball solidly and, say, end up with a double, Ryan would glare at the hitter as he ran the bases. Sandberg decided the best thing he could do was run out the hit, keep his mouth shut (God forbid there would be any fist-pumping), and most of all, avoid any eye contact with Ryan, lest he get one of those 100mph heaters in his ribs or under his chin in his next at-bat.
According to Baseball-Reference.com, Sandberg faced Ryan in 47 plate appearances between 1982 and 1988 when Ryan was with the Astros. Sandberg went 10-for-41 (.244) with a .340 OBP and .415 slugging percentage, with 2 HR, just 3 RBI, 11 K's and 6 BB's in those head-to-head matchups.