Baseball great relocates statue and foundation to Round Rock
Nolan Ryan and his son Reese worked together to unveil the statue of the former big leaguer. The statue of Nolan, tipping his ball cap, is located at the home plate entrance to the Dell Diamond.
"I think it represents what we are about here and that’s baseball," said Nolan.
The 800 pound 8' tall bronze statute was brought to Round Rock not just to greet ball fans of the team he brought to town. Its part of another investment Nolan is making in central Texas. His charitable foundation is relocating from his hometown of Alvin, southeast of Houston, to the sports & business complex he and his family built on Hwy 79.
"Central Texas has been really good to our family, supported the Round Rock Express, and supported us, so that’s one of the reasons we wanted to relocate the Foundation here because it’s going to give us the opportunity to be a little more active in this community, “said Reese.
The main effort will be raising money for scholarships and helping enhance educational opportunities.
Besides working with his foundation Nolan spends a lot of time on his cattle ranch. But he still, certainly, loves the game and he shared some thoughts about the World Series.
"Both teams being in the World Series has been really good for baseball," said Nolan.
The Hall of Famer retired a Ranger but also played for the Astros, Angles and the Mets. He's won a World Series ring and understands how valuable the moment is for those playing now.
"That’s the one thing after being in a World Series in '69 with the Mets, that I truly appreciated, because it’s not that often you get that opportunity now," said Nolan.
The right handed ace got nicknamed "the Ryan Express" for his blistering fastball. He's punched out some of the best batters in the game. He’s also thrown a pretty good punch when an opposing batter charged the mound.
"If I was facing George Brett or Pete Rose or Tony Gwynn, one thing about those hitters is you couldn’t fall into a pattern with them because if they did they'd beat you," said Nolan.
With some those playing now, Nolan has noticed they're having a little trouble making contact with sliders. "You know it would be fun to pitch against them."
While TV ratings for the series have been strong Nolan is a little worried about marketing the game in a social media driven society with a short attention span.
"The length of the game obviously, I think is an issue but I don't see how you do much about it with as much television as there is now with 2 to 3minute intervals every half inning you have to give the sponsors I don't see how you speed the game up." said Nolan.
Which is why more statue unveilings, like this one on November 1 at the Dell Diamond, may be a key to the future. Embracing past icons in hope of securing a place for those waiting on deck.