ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The Texas Rangers have a new pitcher to revitalize the club -- only they hope it will be from the front office.
Almost twenty years after winning 16 games for them as he wound down his 27-year major league career, Nolan Ryan's job is now to lead the Texas Rangers as team president.
The 61-year old Hall of Fame pitcher accepted the position, saying, "Another thing in my career that I never anticipated. "You really wonder where baseball and life is going to take you."
Ryan threw an unmatched seven no-hitters and won 324 games in his major league career. The last five of those came with the Rangers and included his final two no-hitters and 5,000th strikeout.
Texas owner Tom Hicks called the hiring a pivotal point in club history.
Ryan retired with the Rangers in 1993, leaving the game as a fan favorite who was as well known for his sizzling fastball as his toughness and work ethic. His number remains the only one to ever be retired by the Rangers.
Ryan will be in charge of baseball operations and is ultimately accountable for player personnel. Pitching has long been a frustration; the Rangers had the fewest strikeouts in the AL last season and their team ERA ranked in the bottom five.
In recent years, Ryan has been a consultant for the Houston Astros, another former team, and part owner of two minor league teams affiliated with the Astros. He had taken that role after spending 10 years doing marketing and public relations appearances for the Rangers after his retirement.
Astros owner Drayton McLane said the Astros will continue their relationship with the minor league franchises in Round Rock (AAA) and Corpus Christi (AA), which are run by Ryan's sons.
Ryan most recently served as special assistant to the general manager, scouting players and holding pitching camps.