One of the most famous and beloved figures in the history of Los Alamos County died Monday.
Bernard L. ‘Bun’ Ryan was one of the most recognizable sports personalities produced by Los Alamos County and benefactor to many around northern New Mexico and one of the great pitchers in the golden age of softball in the United States.
He is remembered for numerous contributions to Los Alamos and to the residents of northern New Mexico, not the least of which was for his time playing for Pierotti’s Clowns.
The Clowns, a 5-man softball team, traveled all around New Mexico and the region. The Clowns played 200 official games with Ryan throwing the majority of those.
During his heyday, ‘Bullet Bun’ was one of the most feared pitchers in the nation. His fastball was clocked at better than 100 mph. Behind Ryan, the Clowns amassed a won-loss record of 177-23 — interestingly, one of the few games he lost as a pitcher with the Clowns came the day Sports Illustrated snapped a photo of him and his teammates for the first edition of the magazine, making the Clowns among the first victims of the SI Curse.