Former MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent once said about Nolan Ryan…..“He is a great player….but it is his stature as a man that we all admire.” ….and that pretty much sums up the gist of my story today…..as it is a tale of a person who has been a hero in all regards for the better part of his life…..and not just in regards to his 27 year MLB career. The truth about this long-tall Texan is that when Nolan Ryan walks into any room that is filled with any sort of crowd….he just seems to stand so much taller than the rest of those in the room.
MLB – 1966 To 1993 – Special – 7 Reasons That Nolan Ryan Was The Greatest Pitcher Of All Time
In getting into this story….I think it should serve you well to understand that BD says this today…..”Nolan Ryan is probably at #5 on my all time top ten favorite athlete list today….as he continues to move up the ladder based on the work he has done and is still doing after his playing days”. The things that allow an athlete to achieve hero status in BD’s book….are those things that a person does in addition to what he did best in his life…..which in Nolan’s case….was throwing heaters for 27 years in The Bigs….as Ryan’s career after baseball is also pretty dang impressive.
MLB – 1966 To 1993 – Special Documentary – Nolan Ryan: “Feel The Heat”
Nolan Ryan is a real cowboy at heart….as he has always just loved riding quarter horses and cutting cattle….for he has owned cattle ranches for years which produce some mighty fine beef….range fed without hormones….which is rare in the cattle businesses of today. Ryan is a registered Beefmaster Cattleman….whose ranching efforts provided his own products for his own Nolan Ryan branded beef company which provides quality organic beef products sold in stores all over Texas….cuz Big Tex’s beef is the brand that BD buys….can you imagine that?
MLB – 1998 – Special – Nolan Ryan: Texas Cattle Rancher
DOG ASIDE: Do all ya’ll want to take a guess on where the bones from the Ryan beef that BD eats eventually end up? Yep, that’s right…in yours truly very own mouth….cuz I really like to bite and gnaw….and bite and gnaw ….cuz if you have ever doubted the ole saying that the meat is sweeter closes to the bone….well….you just don’t have to worry about whether that is true or not anymore. Look….I’m the dog here…and I’m telling you…all of it….whatever it might be….is sweetest closest to the bone. When it comes to this particular product….Nolan Ryan’s beef….this lil ole Chiweenie says it is top shelf….and thanks to my Bone Daddy….I know his product well…..and it’s great stuff. Shoot….I think I have even sucked the bone marrow from the inside out after making my bone “pelon” ….that’s bald / chrome dome in Gringo.
Music & MLB – 1993 – Song – “The Legend Of Nolan Ryan” Put To Career Highlights
Now Nolan had been doing the ranching business since long before he quit throwing heaters in The Bigs….however….since his playing days….he has written and published six books….was the majority owner and Chairman of the Express Bank of Alvin, TX….served on the Texas Wildlife Commission from 1995 – 2001…..when during that same time frame….he got back into the business of baseball….while bringing his whole family along with him into the business. Yep….the Ryan Express brought all their baseball know how….along with their passion for the game to the Houston Astros farm system….as they bought the Astros AAA Minor League team in Round Rock, Texas (suburb of Austin)….and named it the Round Rock Express….of course. They also purchased the Astros AA Minor League Team in Corpus Christi, Texas….and named them the Corpus Christi Hooks….do I have to explain that one too?!! They not only bought the two teams….but Nolan put one son in charge of the Corpus Christi team….and put the other son in charge of the Round Rock Express. Over the following decade the Ryan’s built both franchises into successful and profitable businesses….which have had a tremendous positive affect on each communities they served….and especially the kids in those communities. Endeavors like these alone will obviously move Big Tex up BD’s favorites list.
MLB – September 26, 1981 – MLB History – Nolan Ryan Pitches 5th No Hitter Against The Dodgers
Within a short span of time….Nolan Ryan had built up such a name as a competent businessman in the business of baseball….that he was hired a President of Operations for the Texas Rangers in 2009….and a short time later he was able to put together a group of investors….who, including himself……were able to purchase the Texas Rangers MLB Franchise. Big Tex became one of the primary owners and the acting CEO of the Texas Rangers….a team that represented the American League in the 2011 and 2012 World Series under his tutelage. Also, it seems that part of the business deal that went down when Ryan’s group bought the Rangers…was that the Round Rock and Corpus Christi minor league teams would become Ranger property…and part of their farm system. So the Rangers were able to bring all of their Major League and Minor League operations under one roof….The Ryan Roof.
TV Ads – 1993 – Nolan Ryan Endorses The Ryan Express – A Smokeless Chew That Has No Tobacco In It
Can you even imagine how much Nolan Ryan has brought to the Rangers table since he took over as President of Ops? Let’s assume that The Ryan Roof brought with it….first and foremost….the know how to manage the administrative part of a successful baseball operation…..and beyond that……can you imagine the effect of having Nolan Ryan sitting in the President’s box on every game? Can you guess how much positive vibrations alone a pitching staff would have by having The Ryan Express watch every pitch you threw? Can you imagine the psychological impact that a Hall of Fame Legend sitting on your sidelines….pulling for you….could have on your ballclub? Is it any wonder that the Ranger have been in the World Series the last two years….and why?
MLB – 1986 – NLCS Game 5 Mets Vs Astros – Highlights of Astros P Nolan Ryan’s 12 Strikeouts
Well….even that question was answered….when Big Tex severed his ties with the Texas Rangers….and joined his son with the Houston Astros. Just mark my words here in June 2013….by July of 2014….the Astros will be above the Rangers in the standings….cuz that’s what Nolan Ryan and The Ryan Roof will bring to an organization….and then watch how good the Astros pitching staff becomes….outta nowhere ….but that’s just not true.
News – 1993 – CNN Sports Special – Astros P Nolan Ryan Scores 1st Round TKO Of Chisox 3B Robin Ventura
In conclusion….and just adding value to my point about what Nolan has continued to do after his playing days were over….newsflash….that just came out of Houston last month….May of 2013….announcing that Reid Ryan….Nolan’s boy….had just been hired as President of Baseball Operations for the Houston Astros. Yep….in a funny sort of way….a story that all began one night not too far back to last season….while Bone Daddy and I were watching the Rangers game….and the television camera panned to the President’s box….where Nolan Ryan sat with President George H. Bush and his First Lady, Barbara….along with President George W. Bush and his First Lady, Laura….which makes me wonder if some day real soon….we just might see them all once again doing something that they have loved to do throughout all of their lives….watching their home team….be it the Texas Rangers or the Houston Astros (my guess is Astros)….while on this particular night….they were all sitting in the Texas Rangers President’s box with one of the greatest players ever….whom they all admired for his stature as a man. VIVA BIG TEX !!!!
MLB – 1966 To 1993 – Special – Nolan Ryan Career Highlights