ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) –– Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan will retire effective October 31, the team announced on Thursday.
Ryan was named the 10th President in team history on February 6, 2008 and became Chief Executive Officer in March 2011.
“This is the right time for me to step down from my role of overseeing the Rangers organization,” said Ryan. “I am extremely proud of what this organization has accomplished. On the field, we have enjoyed great success at the major league level. The fans have supported us in record numbers the last two years and we have been able to upgrade the ballpark and enhance the in-game experience to reward that loyalty.”
In six seasons under Ryan’s watch, the Rangers have the fifth highest winning percentage in the major leagues at .551, including four consecutive 90+ win seasons. Prior to this season, the team made the playoffs in three consecutive years and made two World Series appearances (2010, 2011).
Attendance numbers have skyrocketed since 2008. The club has surpassed the 3-million mark in home attendance in each of the past two seasons, setting a franchise record of 3,460,280 fans in 2012.
“Under Nolan’s leadership and guidance over the last six years, the Rangers organization has made enormous strides both on and off the field,” said Rangers Co-Chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson. “Nolan has meant so much to this franchise and to our fans. We thank him for his many contributions, including his role in helping to develop one of the finest baseball operations staff in the game.”
The announcement comes less than three weeks after the Rangers lost a Wild Card tiebreaker to the Rays, ending their season. Bench coach Jackie Moore was fired two days later, which reportedly prompted a heated confrontation between Ryan and Texas general manager Jon Daniels. Daniels denied the confrontation to 105.3 The Fan.
Prior to the 2013 season, Daniels was named President of Baseball Operations by the organization, which many viewed as a stripping of Ryan’s power. Ryan remained with the Rangers in 2013 despite reports that he was set on leaving the organization.
Ryan still has two years remaining on his contract, though he revealed on Thursday that he sold his shares in the team to Bob Simpson and Ray Davis.
“We have a group of talented and passionate employees who have helped make this success possible,” said Ryan. “This organization is in good hands. I am leaving with a lot of great memories from my tenure here and I know the organization will continue to thrive in the years to come.”
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