There are but a handful of former players that you can imagine leaping from the field straight into the upper echelons of the front office of an MLB club. One would certainly be Cal Ripken, Jr. The other is Nolan Ryan.
In the case of Ryan, he owns the AAA Round Rock Express, a Houston Astros affiliate. Ryan, who will be 61 on Thursday (it doesn’t seem possible, does it?) is currently the special assistant to new general manager Ed Wade.
But, Ryan’s contract with the Astros expires at the end of this year, and that has set up a unique situation with another team Ryan knows well… The Texas Rangers.
The Rangers are currently running sans a president after Jeff Cogen went over to another Tom Hicks holding, the NHL Dallas Stars. As reported by the Houston Chronicle, Ryan seems receptive the idea:
"I think from a baseball perspective, everybody would like to be involved in putting a ballclub together, so I think obviously from my perspective there would be some attraction to that," Ryan said Monday during the first day of the Nolan Ryan and Jeff Bagwell Elite Pitchers and Hitters camp at Minute Maid Park.
Drayton McLane and the Astros gave Ryan permission to speak to Hicks, who he is still close to after finishing out the last five years of his career with the Rangers. The chances are there.
"Will something come of this?" Ryan said. "You know, it's too early to predict.”