No current discussions of Ryan reunion in Houston
Astros owner Crane says club is willing to listen if legendary hurler expresses interest
HOUSTON -- Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan, whose father, Nolan, announced Thursday he was retiring as chief executive officer of the Rangers, said he hasn't had any discussions with his dad about a possible return to Houston.
Nolan Ryan, who grew up in the Houston area and played nine of his 27 seasons with the Astros, announced he was stepping down at the end of the month. He has been running the Rangers as president and then CEO since being hired by former owner Tom Hicks in February 2008.
"Everybody's wanting to know if he's coming to the Astros," said Reid Ryan, who was hired in May. "I hesitate to say anything like that because I don't want to give anybody any false expectations or hopes. I know as his son, knowing him as well as I do, I know he's going to want to take some time off, and after he feels like he's kind of rested and rejuvenated, we'll see what the next chapter holds."
Astros owner Jim Crane said he'd welcome Ryan back to Houston if he were interested.
"Certainly, he's one of the best-known baseball players in the history of Texas, and I don't know his plans in the future," Crane said. "I wish him the best. We have Reid here, and [Nolan] is certainly welcome as a family member to hang out with us. I like Nolan, and at some point, if Nolan wanted to do something, we're all ears."
Ryan finished his career with the Rangers after pitching in Houston from 1980-88, and former Astros owner Drayton McLane signed the Alvin, Texas, product to a five-year personal services contract in 2004 after a 10-year personal services contract with the Rangers had expired.
Ryan joined the Rangers ownership group headed by Ray Davis and Bob Simpson when they bought the team in August 2010. The Hall of Famer, who played in the Major Leagues a record 27 seasons, pitched for the Rangers from 1989-93. During Ryan's tenure as an executive, Texas won its first two American League pennants in 2010 and 2011 and averaged more than 92 wins over the past four seasons.
"Obviously, I'm very, very proud of everything he's accomplished in the game of baseball," Reid Ryan said. "He always treated this game with respect, he cares about the fans, he cares about the players and those of us who work in the game, and he's always done things for the right reason.
"It's no fluke that success has followed him everywhere he's gone. It really started in Houston when [former GMs] Gerry Hunsicker and Tim Purpura asked him to be part of the front office and he was there for the run that got the Astros to the World Series in '05, and that really propelled him to the job in Arlington he ended up taking up there.
"Seeing the success the club had both attendance-wise and with two World Series runs and the way fans embraced the club around the state, it does nothing but bring pride to the son. I'm very happy for him he got to take this challenge on and he was able to do some great things."
Nolan Ryan holds the Major League record for strikeouts (5,714) and no-hitters (seven), one of which he threw with the Astros and two with the Rangers. His No. 34 is retired by the Rangers and the Astros, but he entered the Hall of Fame in 1998 wearing a Rangers cap.