SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nolan Ryan is retiring after six years of serving as CEO of the Texas Rangers.
Ryan said in a statement Thursday that this is the right time for him step down from his job overseeing the Rangers organization. He will retire at the end of this month.
The Hall of Fame pitcher became the 10th president of the Rangers in February 2008 and became chief executive officer three years later.
In that span, Texas has made its only two World Series appearances. The Rangers have averaged more than 90 wins the past five seasons.
“This is the right time for me to step down from my role of overseeing the Rangers organization,” said Ryan in a news release. “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.
“We have a group of talented and passionate employees who have helped make this success possible. 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.” In thanking Ryan for his leadership and guidance over the last six years, Rangers co-chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson said, “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. “Today we turn the page on what we believe is a very bright future for this organization. We wish Nolan all the best,” they said. Ryan was named as the 10th president in Texas Rangers history in February 2008 and became CEO in March 2011. He has had a dramatic impact on the franchise in his six years on the job.
Over the last six years (2008-13), the Rangers have the fifth highest winning percentage in the major leagues at .551. The club has won at least 87 games in each of the last five years, including four consecutive 90-win seasons. The Rangers made the playoffs in three consecutive years and lost in a Wild Card Tiebreaker in 2013 after just three total postseason trips in the franchise’s first 49 seasons. Off the field, he has instilled a renewed commitment to providing the best fan experience and making the Rangers a strong community partner. The Rangers had the highest per-game attendance increase in the majors from 2008 to 2009 and the third largest increase from 2009 to 2010. The club surpassed the 3 million mark in home attendance for the first two seasons in club history in 2012-13, establishing a franchise record of 3,460,280 in 2012. This season, the club’s home average of 38,759 per game was the second highest figure in the American League. The Rangers have also made major upgrades to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington under Ryan’s watch.
In 2010, Ryan became the first National Baseball Hall of Fame player to advance to postseason play in the role as team president or general manager since Stan Musial served as general manager of the 1967 N.L. Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Ryan is also the first individual to serve as president of a World Series participant (2010 and 2011) and play in a World Series (1969 with the New York Mets) since Al Rosen, who played on World Series teams with the Cleveland Indians in 1948 and 1954 and was the president-general manager of the N.L. Champion San Francisco Giants in 1989.- Betty Dillard contributed to this report.