What was speculated on last week (Nolan Ryan: Next President of the Texas Rangers?), has become reality today. The Texas Rangers announced this afternoon that the club has hired Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan as Rangers President. He becomes the 10th president in team history.
“There’s one thing we all know about Nolan Ryan: He has high expectations,” said Rangers Owner Tom Hicks. “He is a successful businessman and entrepreneur, having grown one of the country’s most successful minor league operations from scratch, as well as other successful ventures in banking and premium beef products. I am confident that he will be a club President who will lead the Rangers with passion, wisdom and resolve to help the club all that it can be.”
Ryan, 61, will perform all duties and functions associated with a team president.
“I’m extremely excited about returning to the Rangers," said new club president Nolan Ryan. "I'm looking forward to the new challenges in helping move the club into a position where it competes for championships every year. I know there is a good plan in place and want to assist in its positive direction.”
"We have a strong leadership group and, through the tireless efforts of our scouts & development folks, a comprehensive plan for long-term success - all of which will be enhanced by Nolan's experience,” said General Manager Jon Daniels. “I look forward to working with him as we build towards the championship era of Rangers Baseball."
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said: “I congratulate the Texas Rangers on their decision to hire Nolan Ryan as the new team president. The drive and determination that helped make Nolan a Hall of Famer has been just as evident in his business ventures since his retirement. He cares very deeply about Major League Baseball, and this is a wonderful leadership opportunity for one of the icons of our game. He has been a great credit to our sport for a generation. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I welcome Nolan to his new position.”
He returns to the Rangers after a four-year absence. He was affiliated with the Rangers for nearly 15 years from Dec. 7, 1988, when he initially signed with Texas as a free agent, until January 2004, when his personal services contract with the club ended. He served as Special Assistant to the President under his personal services contract, assisting in the club’s baseball, marketing, and public relations activities. He is an inaugural member of the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame 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 “T” on his Hall of Fame plaque. Ryan was selected to the Hall of Fame on 98.79% of the eligible ballots, a figure which remains the 2nd-highest in history.
Ryan has spent the past four years as Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Houston Astros under a personal services contract that was signed in February 2004. He is one of the principal owners of two Minor League teams, the Round Rock Express in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League and the Corpus Christi Hooks in the Double-A Texas League.
According to Total Baseball, Ryan is the first Hall of Fame player named President of a Major League franchise since Christy Mathewson served as President of the Boston Braves in 1925. Ryan becomes just the third Hall of Fame Team President in Major League History, according to that book, joining John Montgomery Ward (Boston-NL, 1912) and Christy Mathewson (Boston-NL, 1923 and 1925).
The role of Rangers President was vacated on November 14, 2007, when Jeff Cogen was named President of the Dallas Stars. The club has operated with an executive team comprised of several Executive Vice Presidents under the direction of Hicks Holdings since that time
Baseball’s all-time leader in strikeouts (5714) and no-hitters (7), Ryan had a 324-292 record and 3.19 ERA over 27 seasons including 1966 and 1968-1993. He also threw 12 one-hitters and owns 2 of the top 4 single-season strikeout totals in Major League history, including an all-time best 383 K’s with the California Angels in 1973. The native Texan also ranks among all-time leaders in innings (5th, 5386.0) and shutouts (T7th, 61). He owns 4 of the top 5 single-season strikeout totals by a right-handed pitcher in baseball history.
He surpassed several milestones while wearing a Texas uniform. He threw his 6th (June 11, 1990 at Oakland) and 7th (May 1, 1991 vs. Toronto) no-hitters with the Rangers, and recorded his 300th career win on July 31, 1990 at Milwaukee. He became the first pitcher in baseball history to record 5,000 strikeouts when he fanned Oakland’s Rickey Henderson on Aug. 22, 1989 at Arlington Stadium. Ryan’s 5,714 career strikeouts are still over 1,000 more K’s than any other player in the game’s history.
Source: Texas Rangers