Nolan Ryan doesn’t have to keep a set schedule any more, other than showing up for the occasional interview with a sports blogger. But for years, he showed legendary reliability. He pitched every fifth day into his mid-40s. As an executive, Ryan and his remarkable wife Ruth felt that if they were going to ask fans to sit in the Texas heat, they needed to be willing to do it themselves, so you could almost always find them in the front row at what is now Globe Life Park in Arlington during his tenure as Rangers team president.
Nolan Ryan is also reliable when it comes to his personality. His Texas drawl still sounds the same as it always has, as you’ll notice in the video interview that serves as the centerpiece of this blog post. And he still cares about people, the way I remember him doing when I worked for Rangers under him. A lot of our conversation off camera centered on former co-workers and what they were doing now. He truly cared about who had a baby and who had changed jobs.
I’ve never worked for his sons, who’ve run teams in Houston, Round Rock, and Corpus Christi. But I’d like to think they’ve inherited that sense of loyalty and empathy from him. If so, being a member of the Astros or Express organizations is probably a pretty good job. In this interview, I asked him about his family and what it has meant to see them have success in the sport where he achieved so much. And I also asked him about the current Rangers. It turns out he still follows them and has insight into the type of team they’re fielding.