Turns out Nolan Ryan wasn't long for the Texas Rangers after all. Ryan and the Rangers announced Thursday that the Hall of Fame pitcher will be retiring from his role as team CEO on Oct. 31.
Ryan's retirement ends a bizarre year at the top of the Rangers organization. Ryan stayed beloved by the fan base but until the end, but lost power within the Texas front office.
In March it was reported that Ryan could leave his job before the season started because of a power struggle atop the Rangers. When general manager Jon Daniels was promoted to president of baseball operations/GM and Rick George, the club's chief operating officer, was named president of business operations, it stripped Ryan of much of his power.
Not long after the season started, however, Ryan said he wasn't going anywhere. Not then at least. Most recently, he and Daniels reportedly got into a heated argument and had to be separated earlier this month, days after the Rangers' season ended.
So this retirement may actually be a "retirement" for the public's sake, since he's the famous name fans knew. Here's what Ryan said in a statement released by the Rangers.
“This is the right time for me to step down from my role of overseeing the Rangers organization,” Ryan said. "I am extremely proud of what this organization has accomplished. On the field, we have enjoyed great success at the major league level. The fans have supported us in record numbers the last two years and we have been able to upgrade the ballpark and enhance the in-game experience to reward that loyalty.
"We have a group of talented and passionate employees who have helped make this success possible. This organization is in good hands. I am leaving with a lot of great memories from my tenure here and I know the organization will continue to thrive in the years to come.”
Ryan, 66, became the president of the Rangers in 2008. He was promoted to CEO in 2011. He also owns a piece of the team. While Ryan was in charge, the Rangers went to their first World Series in 2010, then again in 2011. They won neither. The Rangers also averaged 90 wins the last five seasons.
As a player, Ryan pitched for the Rangers his final five seasons (1989-1993). A Texas native, Ryan's career is most closely associated with the Rangers and the Houston Astros (for whom he pitched 1980-1988). His son Reid Ryan was named the president of the Houston Astros earlier this season. Nolan Ryan, however, is "unlikely to join his son" in Houston, the Dallas Morning News reported.
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