Nolan Ryan serves as CEO & President of the Texas Rangers and is part of the team's ownership group, Rangers Baseball Express, which completed its purchase of the franchise on August 12, 2010. He oversees baseball and business operations for the franchise and is a member of the Board of Directors.
Baseball's all-time strikeout leader was named as the tenth President in Texas Rangers team history on February 6, 2008 and has had a dramatic impact on the franchise in his five years on the job. Off the field, he has instilled a renewed commitment to providing the best fan experience and making the Rangers a strong community partner. The Rangers had the highest per-game attendance increase in the majors from 2008 to 2009 and the third largest increase from 2009 to 2010. The club has established single season home attendance records each of the last two years, surpassing the 3,000,000 mark for the first time in franchise history in 2012.
In addition, the Rangers have made major upgrades to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington under his watch, adding Home Plate Seats for 2009, new video boards and audio system for 2011, a Batters Eye Club, Captain Morgan Club, Budweiser Kid's Zone, and the Budweiser Bowtie at Vandergriff Plaza in 2012, and additional Home Plate Seats, extensive renovations and upgrades to the private club and concessions areas behind home plate, and a new retail store and concessions stands on the Main Concourse for 2013.
His influence on baseball operations has helped to three consecutive postseason appearances, including consecutive American League championships in 2010 and 2011. In 2010, he became the first National Baseball Hall of Fame player to advance to postseason play in the role as team President or General Manager since Stan Musial served as General Manager of the 1967 N.L. Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Ryan is also the first individual to serve as President of a World Series participant (2010 and 2011) and play in a World Series (1969 with the New York Mets) since Al Rosen, who played on World Series teams with the Cleveland Indians in 1948 and 1954 and was the President-General Manager of the N.L. Champion San Francisco Giants in 1989.
Ryan's pedigree as one of the greatest pitchers in major league history has also served as a positive influence as the Rangers develop and refine their pitching philosophies, which incorporate Nolan's trademarks of conditioning, hard work, good mechanics, focus, and mental toughness. In Ryan's first four years, the Rangers' team earned run average decreased each season: 2008-5.37; 2009-4.38; 2010-3.93; 2011-3.79 with the latter figure being Texas' lowest since 1983. It was the first time the Rangers have posted consecutive years with an ERA under 4.00 since Ryan was on the staff in 1989 and 1990. Texas also set a team record for pitcher strikeouts in 2012.
Ryan is just the third Hall of Fame player to serve as the President of a Major League Baseball franchise, joining John Montgomery Ward (1912) and Christy Mathewson (1923 and 1925), both with the Boston Braves, and the first to work for a World Series participant.
The 66-year-old Ryan was previously affiliated with the Rangers for nearly 15 years as a player and Special Assistant. Initially signing with Texas as a free agent on December 7, 1988, the righthander spent five memorable years in a Rangers uniform before retiring after the 1993 season. He then served as Special Assistant to the President under his personal services contract, assisting in the club's baseball, marketing, and public relations activities until January 2004. He is an inaugural member of the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame (2003) and is the only player to have his number retired by the club (#34).
Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, Ryan was inducted on July 25, 1999 wearing a Rangers cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. Nolan was elected to the Hall of Fame on 98.79% of the eligible ballots, a figure which remains the second highest in history. He is the only player to ever have his uniform number retired by three different teams with the Angels (#30) and Astros (#34) joining the Rangers.
After leaving the Rangers, Ryan spent four years as Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Houston Astros after joining the organization in February 2004. In that capacity, he assisted the baseball operations staff in a variety of areas on the major and minor league level.
Nolan compiled a 324-292 record with a 3.19 earned run average in 807 appearances in an unprecedented 27 seasons with the New York Mets (1966; 1968-71), California Angels (1972-79), Astros (1980-88), and Rangers (1989-93). The all-time leader in strikeouts (5714) and no-hitters (7), Nolan has owned or shared 53 Major League records. He is fifth in lifetime innings (5387.0), tied for seventh in shutouts (61), and tied for 13th in victories while his 773 starts are second only to Cy Young (815). An eight-time All-Star, Ryan also threw 12 one-hitters, tying Bob Feller for the most ever, and owns two of the top four single-season strikeout totals in Major League history, including an all-time best 383 K's with the Angels in 1973. He fanned 10 or more batters a ML record 215 times.
In his five seasons with the Rangers, Nolan was 51-39 with a 3.30 ERA and 939 strikeouts in 840.0 innings over his 129 starts. He ranks fourth in team history in strikeouts and ERA (400.0 + IP) and established a club record with 301 strikeouts in 1989.
Ryan reached several milestones while wearing a Texas uniform. He threw his sixth (June 11, 1990 at Oakland) and seventh (May 1, 1991 vs. Toronto) no-hitters and recorded his 300th career win on July 31, 1990 at Milwaukee. He became the first and only pitcher in baseball history to record 5,000 strikeouts when he fanned Oakland's Rickey Henderson on Aug. 22, 1989 at Arlington Stadium. He threw his final pitch with the Rangers on September 22, 1993 at the age of 46.
After his retirement as an active player, Ryan was able to pursue a number of business ventures. He is a Principal Owner of Ryan-Sanders Baseball, which owns and operates the Round Rock Express of the Pacific Coast League, a Texas Rangers affiliate, and the Corpus Christi Hooks of the Texas League, a Houston Astros farm club.
For a number of years Nolan owned and served as Chairman of the Board of The Express Bank in Alvin and The Express Bank of Texas in Round Rock, and he currently serves on the Board of R Bank in Round Rock. He has several working cattle ranches in South Texas. In December 1999, Nolan became a limited partner in Beefmaster Cattlemen, LP, a branded beef company that markets Nolan Ryan Tender Aged Beef.
The Nolan Ryan Foundation built the Nolan Ryan Center for Continuing Education at Alvin Community College, a facility which opened in 1996. He also sponsors the Nolan Ryan Scholarship Fund at Alvin Community College.
Nolan and his wife, Ruth, were married on June 26, 1967, and have three children: Robert Reid (11/21/71), Nolan Reese (1/21/76), and Wendy Lynn (3/22/77). Reid, who pitched at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and for two years (1994-95) in the Texas Rangers' minor league system, is Owner and CEO of Ryan-Sanders Baseball and Reese, who also played at TCU, is Owner and CFO of Ryan Sanders Baseball. Nolan and Ruth have seven grandchildren.
Nolan was born on Jan. 31, 1947, in Refugio, Texas. His family moved to Alvin when he was six weeks old, and he remained an Alvin resident until 2003, when the Ryans moved to Georgetown. They also have a residence in Fort Worth.
NOLAN'S CAREER RECORD: 324-292
NOLAN AMONG THE ALL-TIME LEADERS
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