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Nolan Ryan Back at Work



    Nolan Ryan knows his cardiologist would probably prefer for him to cut back on his nonstop workload as CEO, president and part-owner of the AL West-leading Texas Rangers.

    Yet, the Hall of Fame pitcher who played a record 27 seasons in the major leagues is showing no signs of slowing down.

    Ryan, who has dealt with a heart condition since double-bypass surgery in 2000, was back at Rangers Ballpark on Friday, only days after being hospitalized because of an incident with his heart.

    "Good, everything's going fine," the 64-year-old Ryan said before the Rangers played their first home game since the All-Star break.

    Ryan was released from a Houston hospital Tuesday. He had spent two nights there after experiencing tightness in his chest while at his home in Georgetown. He was back at work after resting for a couple of days at his Texas home.

    "I look at it from a bright side because everything, the last cardiogram I had was in 2007, and it was pretty much identical," Ryan said. "Nothing has changed in four years, so that's a very big plus."

    At times because of his condition, Ryan said he can have "classic heart attack symptoms" or discomfort and tightness in his chest. Nitroglycerin pills usually relieve the problem, but when they didn't last weekend, his cardiologist wanted him to go to the hospital for tests.

    Ryan became president of the Rangers in February 2008. Next month will mark the one-year anniversary of Ryan's ownership group finally gaining control of the team after an extended process that ended with a court-ordered auction. That auction came only months before the Rangers went to the World Series for the first time in franchise history.

    Then two weeks ago, just before the All-Star break, a Brownwood firefighter had a fatal fall during a Rangers home game. Shannon Stone died less than an hour after reaching over a rail to catch a ball tossed his way and fell about 20 feet to the concrete behind the left-field wall July 7.

    While Ryan acknowledged stress and fatigue could be factors in his heart episodes, he didn't want to blame the latest on anything in particular.

    "I can't say I'd correlate any certain thing to it," Ryan said. "It can come from fatigue, it can come from stress. I don't know what all."

    There is a family history of heart disease in Ryan's past.

    Ryan said he tries to watch his diet and that his doctor didn't tell him to make any significant changes after tests showed no unexpected problems.

    "He pretty well knows me," Ryan said. "Obviously, I think he would prefer that I did [slow down], but he didn't come out and tell me that I needed to change my lifestyle or anything."

    Ryan pitched for the New York Mets, California, Houston and Texas. He holds the records for most no-hitters (seven) and strikeouts (5,714).