Nolan is Missouri Child’s Hero

When eight-year-old Halen Hoflander was born, Nolan Ryan had just been inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame. While the second-grader didn’t have the fortune of watching Nolan on the mound, his mom was a fastballer fan who tuned into Nolan while growing up in Houston. Now raising her family in rural Missouri, she passed on that admiration to her son.  

For Halen’s RISE Program for gifted students, teacher Mary Beth Fuller asked the class to develop a presentation about a person they consider a legend. The program was called “Late Night with a Legend.” Each student wrote a riddle about their legend, created a poster display, dressed in character for their presentation and while answering questions from classmates, parents, grandparents and teachers. As the pitcher on his Pee Wee team, Halen also shared with the audience his favorite quote from Nolan’s pitching days when Nolan said, “it helps if the hitter thinks you’re a little bit crazy.” 

The students also were asked to prepare a snack that somehow reflected their legend. Since Halen knew of Nolan’s affinity for beef, he served beef summer sausage!  

While most students chose classic figures like Albert Einstein, Leonardo DaVinci and Amelia Earheart, Halen went with a hero close to his heart. Halen’s mom shared these photos with us of Halen proudly wearing number 34!

We know there are Nolan Ryan fans who love baseball and beef just as much as Halen does! Please feel free to share your story and favorite beef recipe by sending us an email

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