Nolan Ryan is forever linked to the state of Texas. The Hall of Fame pitcher took the mound wearing both the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros uniform during his illustrious career. Three of his seven career no-hitters happened in those uniforms (two with Texas, one with Houston). His number is retired by both franchises.
The Rangers will soon be taking the field at a brand new ballpark. They will leave the comforts of Globe Life Park for a new home in 2020. No need to worry, the new home will be in the same vicinity as the current one so no extra mileage is needed when making those spring and summer trips to witness “Baseball Time in Arlington.”
Right now, you are probably asking yourself “what do these two have in common?” The answer is simple – a statue.
The million dollar question is whether the Nolan Ryan statue currently at The Globe will be moved to the new ballpark. Now is when things get fun.
Ryan didn’t exactly leave Arlington on the best of terms with the Rangers. He retired as the Rangers president and CEO in 2013 after a well-documented power struggle with team president and general manager Jon Daniels. It was like a bad divorce. The Rangers made their only World Series trips in 2010 and 2011 with those two in the front office. That was all that was left after the separation.
As fate would have it, Ryan was then hired by the Astros in 2014 as an executive advisor to owner Jim Crane and general manager Jeff Luhnow. His son, Reid Ryan, is the Astros president. Basically, Ryan lends his voice whenever needed.
Once again, a team tied with Nolan Ryan on the office payroll is playing in the World Series, this time for the Rangers’ heated in-state rival Houston. Maybe that bothers part of Rangers Nation and those on “Team Daniels.” Maybe it doesn’t.
That leads us back to that statue of the Hall of Famer at The Globe. Does the fact that Ryan now works for the Rangers biggest rival warrant enough displeasure to leave that statue behind when the move to the new ballpark is made? Some may think so. Then again, we are talking about the best pitcher to ever put on a Rangers uniform. Is that enough to let the statue live on in Arlington?
Let the debate begin.