Ryan said he planned to go home and enjoy getting back out to his ranch “and doing things I haven’t done for six years now. … I don’t know what a year from now might bring. This may be the final chapter of my baseball career.”
Texas made its only two World Series appearances during Ryan’s six seasons in the front office. The Rangers have averaged more than 90 wins the past five seasons, though they missed the playoffs this year after losing an AL wild-card tiebreaker game to Tampa Bay.
“During times of significant change for the franchise, Nolan has been a constant _ accessible, dedicated and an icon to his fellow Texans who love our game,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “Nolan’s unique perspective as a legendary player and an accomplished executive has been invaluable to the Rangers franchise.”
The major league strikeout king with 5,714 spent the last five seasons of his playing days in a Rangers uniform, getting his 300th victory, throwing the last two of his record seven no-hitters and getting his 5,000th strikeout. He retired as player after the 1993 season.
His No. 34 jersey is the only one worn by a Rangers player to be retired, and there is a statue of the pitcher at Rangers Ballpark. He is the only player in the Hall of Fame whose bust is topped by a Texas cap.
“As his son, I am extremely proud of what he has accomplished as both a player and as a front office executive. He was an integral part of all three of the World Series appearances by Texas teams, in 2005 with the Astros and in 2010-11 with the Rangers,” Reid Ryan said in a statement.
“He has always treated the game with dignity and respect and has appreciated those that make our game great: the fans, players and employees,” he said.
The co-chairmen said there are no immediate plans to announce a new CEO. Rob Matwick, who’s currently executive vice president of ballpark and event operations, will take on more responsibilities with the help of others who have also been shifted into new roles.
AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins contributed to this report.