End of a Rangers Era

Nolan Ryan plans exit from Texas Rangers; are the Astros in his future?

Nolan Ryan plans Texas Rangers exit; are the Astros in his future?

Milo Hamilton tribute, October 2012, Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan has announced his retirement from the Texas Rangers, effective Oct. 31. Nolan Ryan Photo by © Chinh Phan
Jon Daniels
The promotion of Jon Daniels (left) opened the door to questions about Nolan Ryan's position with the Texas Rangers.  Photo courtesy of Texas Rangers
Reid Ryan
Nolan Ryan's son, Reid, is Astros president of business operations. Courtesy of Austin Downtown Founders
Astro Wives,Jim Crane, August 2012
Astros owner Jim Crane. Jim Crane Photo by Michelle Watson
Nolan Ryan, Nolan Ryan's All Natural Beef
Everything Nolan Ryan, 66, has had a hand in — baseball and business — has been successful.  Nolan Ryan's All Natural Beef/Facebook
Milo Hamilton tribute, October 2012, Nolan Ryan
Jon Daniels
Reid Ryan
Astro Wives,Jim Crane, August 2012
Nolan Ryan, Nolan Ryan's All Natural Beef

Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan has announced his retirement as Texas Rangers CEO. His resignation is effective Oct. 31. 

“This is the right time for me to step down from my role of overseeing the Rangers organization,” Ryan said in a statement. “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.”

 "I like Nolan, and at some point if Nolan wanted to do something, we're all ears," Astros owner Jim Crane told MLB.com. 

Ryan, the former Houston Astros pitching great, did not rule out a return to baseball, which led to immediate speculation he might return to the Astros in a management capacity. His son, Reid Ryan, is the Astros president of business operations.

"I like Nolan, and at some point if Nolan wanted to do something, we're all ears," Astros owner Jim Crane told MLB.com.

But Crane told the Houston Chronicle  there's been "no discussion whatsover" with Ryan.

Ryan joined the Rangers as president in 2008 and became CEO in 2011. In his six years with the franchise, the Rangers recorded the fifth-highest winning percentage in the major leagues at .551.

The Rangers had four consecutive 90-win seasons and made the playoffs in three consecutive years. The team lost in a wild card tiebreaker in 2013 after just three total postseason trips in the franchise’s first 49 seasons.

Ryan's retirement comes less than a year after rumors of his departure first began circulating due to promotions for Jon Daniels and Rick George. But Ryan held on — for seven months, anyway — and appears to be exiting the stage on his own terms.

“This organization is in good hands,” Ryan said. “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.”      

Rangers co-chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson praised Ryan's contribution 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. We wish Nolan all the best.