HOUSTON – Reid Ryan choked back tears as he was introduced as president of his beloved Astros, the team he grew up watching in the days when his Hall of Fame father, Nolan Ryan, starred as a pitcher for Houston.
“My ties with the Astros go all the way back to 1980, when my dad came over,” Reid Ryan said. “Today really is a dream come true, because you grow up an Astros fan if you’re in Houston.”
Reid Ryan takes over the position that was left vacant when George Postolos resigned Monday.
Astros owner Jim Crane certainly appreciates having the Ryan name associated with his team again, but was quick to point out that Reid Ryan is much more than simply the son of a famous ball player.
“It’s great to have your kid in the business, but now he can prove himself as Reid Ryan,” Crane said. “His dad’s is a famed player, a very, very famous guy, but Reid’s the kind of guy that stands on his own.”
Since 1998, Ryan, the eldest son of Nolan Ryan, has been the CEO of Ryan-Sanders Baseball, which owns the Triple-A Round Rock Express and Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks. The 41-year-old Reid Ryan helped create the Express, an affiliate of the Texas Rangers and the Hooks, an Astros’ affiliate.
Reid Ryan takes over a job where he will be tasked with helping increase attendance and win back disillusioned fans to a team that has finished with 100 losses in each of the last two seasons and has the worst record in the majors again this year.
He did share a couple of keys that he will focus on.
“We have to put the fans first in everything we do, and then we’ve got make sure we’re taking care of the players,” Reid Ryan said. “If you don’t have the players, you’re really not going to have anything.”
Reid Ryan has been impressed with how the infusion of quality prospects from Houston’s many recent trades has improved the organization’s farm system.
His father played for the Astros from 1980-88 and spent 4 years beginning in 2004 as a special assistant to the general manager in Houston before joining the front office of the Texas Rangers. His famous dad and former Astros great Craig Biggio were on hand Friday for the announcement.
Though Nolan Ryan now works for Houston’s in-state rival about 200 miles up the road, he still has a keen interest in the team he once played for.
“He grew up an Astros fan. I’m still an Astros fan. I follow them on a day-to-day basis,” Nolan Ryan said. “I’m very connected to the team and very connected to what goes on here in Houston with the baseball climate. So that’s a part of us and will always be a part of us.”
Nolan Ryan said he hasn’t shared any advice with his son about his new job, but he is very excited to see his son working for his former team.
“You’re very proud when you see one of your children get an opportunity of this nature,” Nolan Ryan said. “I’m very proud of the fact that our kids grew up in baseball and have a relationship with baseball and enjoy it and want to be associated with it. So that makes you feel good.”