The Ryan Express travels 256 miles and arrives at Minute Maid Park. Nolan Ryan returns to the organization to become an Executive Advisor with the team. Already having one of the best farm systems in Major League Baseball, the Astros gain one of the best overall decision makers in the game.
Ryan's playing career is still something to marvel at. The career strikeout leader, with 5,714, had the most explosive and un-hittable fastball in the history of baseball. Speaking of un-hittable, Ryan has the all time record for no-hitters with seven, the last one at age 44. His hard-working style drove Nolan to become one of the greatest all time pitchers. That style currently drives Ryan to be a tremendous executive with any club he is associated with.
Ryan's success on the field might soon be eclipsed by his success as an advisor with the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers. Ryan's first stint began in 2004 with the Houston Astros who was already a winning team. In his second season advising for the Astros, they reached their first World Series in franchise history. The Astros had a winning record for three of the four seasons Nolan was advising. In 2008, Nolan joined the Texas Rangers as an advisor, and the Astros have continued to have losing seasons since 2009.
His presence on the Rangers blessed them with winning ways they had not seen since the 1990's. In fact, the Rangers had only one winning season since 1999 before Ryan arrived and never placed above third in the division. The Rangers only had one losing season since: his first season with the team in 2008. Ryan, continue his leadership success by bringing the franchise to their first World Series in 2010 and an addtional one to the team the following season.
Winning is important, but in the business of major sports, revenue is king. Ryan's influence goes much further than wins. In his first season with the Rangers had the largest increase in per game home attendance. Followed by his next season in Texas when the team had the third highest increase. The past two seasons, 2012 and 2013, the Rangers have consecutively set single season franchise attendance records.
Ryan drove this increase in attendance, and subsequent revenue, by being involved in the community and all facets/operations with the club. He ensured stadium upgrades and renovations and had his hand in television contract negotiations. Ryan's impact was even felt on the field with the pitching staff; simple presence and conversations with pitchers has been credited to lowering the team earned run average each season Nolan was with Texas. Ultimately, the team attained its first consecutive seasons of sub-4.00 ERA since Nolan was a pitcher on the team in 1989 and 1990.
Nolan Ryan's involvement with the Houston Astros will bring success to the organization, again. One of the greats of the game as a player is primed to become one of the greats of the game as a decision maker.
Written By: Nic Amanno
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