Nolan Ryan is retiring after six seasons as CEO of the Texas Rangers.
The 66-year-old Ryan said Thursday this is the right time for him step down from his job overseeing the Rangers organization. He will retire at the end of this month.
“I am extremely proud of what this organization has accomplished,” Ryan said. “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.”
The Hall of Fame pitcher became the 10th president of the Rangers in February 2008 and became chief executive officer three years later. He was also part of the ownership group that acquired the team in August 2010, months before their first World Series.
In that span, Texas has made its only two World Series appearances. The Rangers have averaged more than 90 wins the past five seasons, though missed the playoffs this season after losing an AL wild-card tiebreaker game to Tampa Bay.
“Under Nolan’s leadership and guidance over the last six years, the Rangers organization has made enormous strides both on and off the field,” Rangers co-chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson said in a statement. “Nolan has meant so much to this franchise and to our fans. We thank him for his many contributions, including his role in helping to develop one of the finest baseball operations staff in the game.
“Today we turn the page on what we believe is a very bright future for this organization,” they said. “We wish Nolan all the best.”
Ryan’s name has been synonymous with the Rangers for decades.
The major league strikeout king with 5,714 spent the last five seasons of his playing days in a Rangers uniform, getting his 300th victory, throwing the last two of his record seven no-hitters and getting his 5,000th strikeout. He retired as player after the 1993 season.
His No. 34 jersey is the only one worn by a Rangers player to be retired, and there is a statue of the pitcher at Rangers Ballpark. He is the only player in the Hall of Fame whose bust is topped by a Texas cap.
Ryan had been CEO and president until a few weeks before this season, when ownership gave general manager Jon Daniels and chief operating officer Rick George new presidential titles and made Ryan the CEO. George left in July to become the athletic director at the University of Colorado.
Ryan’s eldest son, Reid, is the president of the Astros.