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Nolan Ryan won't be at 50th anniversary celebration of 1969 Mets, source says

Nolan Ryan, center, speaks with Jerry Koosman (left)

Nolan Ryan, center, speaks with Jerry Koosman (left) and Cleon Jones at his sides during a press conference as the  Mets pay tribute to the 1969 World Series Mets team at Citi Field on Aug. 22, 2009. Credit: Newsday/Kathy Kmonicek

Nolan Ryan has informed the Mets he will not be attending the celebration of the 1969 World Champion Mets on June 29, a source said on Monday. No reason was given.

Ryan, 72, the all-time major-league leader in strikeouts with 5,714, would have been the biggest name at the reunion after Hall of Famer Tom Seaver’s retirement from public life in March becaue of his diagnosis of dementia.

Ryan was 22 in 1969 and went 6-3 with 92 strikeouts in 89⅓ innings. He made his mark after leaving the Mets, throwing an MLB-record seven no-hitters. He won 324 games and entered the Hall of Fame in 1999 with a Rangers cap on his plaque.

Ryan, who had a close relationship with Seaver before Ryan was traded to the Angels in 1971 for Jim Fregosi in a deal the Mets still rue to this day, seemed to be looking forward to making a return to New York, where he won his only World Series title, during a phone interview in April.

 “That very much means a lot to me,’’ Ryan said then. "Anytime you win with an organization and a group of guys, that always has a special place in your heart."

Other '69 Mets unable to attend, according to the Mets, include Gary Gentry, Al Weis, Ken Boswell and coach Joe Pignatano.

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