By JOSEPH HAMRICK
Hall of Fame legend Nolan Ryan shared the challenges of being owner of the Texas Rangers during a luncheon inside the Roy Q. Traylor Athletic Complex at Greenville High School on Tuesday.
“With the history of our organizations, I knew we had some challenges to face,” Ryan said. “I was much more familiar with the Astros organization and Houtston that with the Rangers organization.”
Before Ryan could face the challenges of being an owner, he had one person standing in his way in the bidding for the Rangers, current owner of the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban.
“The day of the auction I wasn’t a friend of Mark Cuban,” he said. “but when they stopped bidding and I had won, I was more of a Cuban fan.”
Ryan said he didn’t think he had too great of a shot of becoming the owner during the bidding war.
“I really felt like they were going to outbid us,” he said. “I was totally shocked when Cuban walked up and told me they weren’t going to bid anymore.”
According to Ryan, that was the longest day of his life.
“We started the day at 8 a.m. and I couldn’t get to bed until 2 a.m.,” he said. “It was an emotional rollercoaster over the 24-hour period.”
Ryan said he was met with a surprise the next day when he went into the office.
“The entire office employees were there with a bottle of champagne to celebrate,” he said.
Ryan still had many challenges to face, but according to him, they would be easier if they could find the right talent for the team.
“We were very fortunate because a lot of those people like Elvis, Murphy and Holland have made a big impact on the Rangers,” he said.
Ryan said his first priority when he took over the Rangers was to work on the pitching.
“We really felt like we needed to improve the pitching,” he said. “And one way to do that is to improve our defensive players.”
That’s when he made a move to bring up Elvis Andrus.
“We moved Michael young to third base and moved Elvis up to shortstop,” he said. “I couldn’t be any happier with what he’s accomplished.”
Ryan also complimented Rangers General Manager John Daniels.
“He has grown into that position and has listed to people and their reccomendations well,” he said. “He has dedicated his life to being the best GM he can be. We have high respect for each other.”