Nolan Ryan to join Astros' front office

Elsa

The Ryan Express returns to Union Station; Nolan Ryan to service as advisor to owner Jim Crane, General Manager Jeff Luhnow and team President Reid Ryan.

As first reported by Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston, Nolan Ryan has agreed to join the Astros front office. Ryan will serve as an executive advisor to owner Jim Crane, General Manager Jeff Luhnow, and team President Reid Ryan.

There has been a lingering feeling that Ryan would make the jump back to the Astros after a messy departure from the Texas Rangers. Jim Crane told the Houston Chronicle's Evan Drellich in November:

"I have talked to Nolan," said Crane. "We haven't really discussed anything about him joining the team yet. But that certainly could be a possibility down the road. It depends what Nolan wants. ... As far as an offer of us talking about a position, we haven't done that."

Ryan's eldest son Reid, now team President has had to field a constant flow of questions about the possible return of his father to the Astros. "I don’t think it’s any great secret that I would love to have my dad work with the Houston Astros," Reid Ryan told the Houston Chronicle's Jose de Jesus Ortiz in January. The two parties met about a possible position on January 28. The latest update came yesterday from MLB.com's Brian McTaggart:

Astros owner Jim Crane says he hopes to hear from Nolan Ryan "any day." He says "ball is in his court" about rejoining club.

Nolan commented after today's announcement that Astros' front office appreciates "the experience & knowledge that I've gained over the course of my life in baseball" while speaking to the Houston Chronicle's Jose de Jesus Ortiz. "The fact I feel appreciated & feel wanted certainly played a big role [in my return]", Ryan would go on to further say.

There were questions raised about the relationship between old-school Ryan and sabermetrician Jeff Luhnow. Luhnow spoke with the Houston Chronicle's Evan Drellich and laid that story to rest:

"Everybody knows their role, and we're all shooting toward the same goal and I think Nolan understands that" said Luhnow. "We've had multiple conversations with him, he completely buys into our strategy."

Ryan has once again come full circle, he was born and bred in southern Texas. Ryan was drafted out of Alvin High School by the New York Mets. The right-hander would spend his first 13 seasons in the majors between the Mets and California Angels. Before signing the first major league contract to cross the $1 million per season threshold with his hometown team, Houston Astros. He would go on to break Walter Johnson's all-time strikeout record of 3,509 and record his 4,000th strikeout as an Astro. Nolan would also throw his fifth no-hitter on September 26, 1981 in Houston against the Dodgers. From 1980 to 1988, he recorded 106 wins and a 3.13 ERA during his time with the Astros.

Ryan would finish his career in Arlington after a contract dispute. The Ryan Express would always be contact to both teams. Nolan was enshrined as a Ranger in Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999. Ryan-Sanders Baseball, a partnership between the Ryan family and Houston businessman Don Sanders, created two minor league clubs for the Astros - Round Rock Express and Corpus Christi Hooks. The Express are now affiliated with the Rangers, and Astros now own the Hooks. Nolan signed a personal service contract with the Astros in 2004 and left in 2008 to become the Rangers' CEO in 2009. He would win two American League titles during his time as the Rangers' CEO.

The arguable face of the Astros franchise has returned for hopefully his final stop.

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