Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan To Speak At SHSU

Nolan Ryan, baseball’s all-time strikeout leader and one of the most dominating pitchers the sport has ever seen, will visit the campus of Sam Houston State University on April 30 as featured guest for “Mingling with a Major Leaguer.”

Ryan’s appearance for the President’s Speaker Series is being produced in conjunction with the students of Priority One, a course within the university’s department of mass communication.

Ryan will be joined on-stage by SHSU President Dana Gibson for the presentation, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center. It is free and open to the public.

The program will focus on various aspects of Ryan’s life and career, past to present, highlighting that he has been considered a role model for players and fans alike during his 27-year major league baseball career.

Ryan compiled a 324-292 record with a 3.19 earned run average in 807 appearances with the New York Mets (1966; 1968-71), California Angels (1972-79), Houston Astros (1980-88), and Texas Rangers (1989-93). The all-time leader in strikeouts (5,714) and no-hitters (7), Ryan has owned or shared 53 major league records.

Nicknamed “The Ryan Express,” his personal trademarks of conditioning, hard work, focus and mental toughness positively influenced the game and led to his being elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1999. He is the only player to ever have his uniform number retired by three different teams.

Since retirement as a player, Ryan’s career has featured a variety of business ventures, including his current service as chief executive officer and president of the Texas Rangers.

Ryan also is part of the Texas Rangers’ ownership group, Rangers Baseball Express. He oversees all baseball and business operations for the franchise. He was previously affiliated with the Rangers for nearly 15 years as a player and special assistant. He is an inaugural member of the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame.

He is a principal owner of Ryan-Sanders Baseball, which owns and operates the Round Rock Express (Rangers affiliate) of the Pacific Coast League and the Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros farm club) of the Texas League. The two franchises have been among the most successful in the minor leagues in recent years.

Additional endeavors include several working cattle ranches in South Texas. He is a limited partner in Beefmaster Cattlemen, LP, a branded beef company that markets Nolan Ryan Tender Aged Beef, and he is past president of the Beefmaster Breeders United. In 1995 he was appointed to a six-year term on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.

His civic involvements include serving on the boards of the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, Nolan Ryan Foundation, and Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund. He served as a trustee of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Foundation and is a member of the Texas Heart Institute’s National Advisory Council. He also sponsors the Nolan Ryan Scholarship Fund at Alvin Community College.

Nolan and his wife Ruth were married in 1967. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

Created in 2002 by SHSU President Emeritus Jim Gaertner and originally underwritten by the estate of the late Huntsville resident Lu Ellen Gibbs, the President’s Speaker Series is designed to bring prominent leaders to the Sam Houston State University campus. Speakers are chosen for their ability to deliver messages of substance with the potential to significantly impact the student body.

Previous speakers have included Gene Stallings, Debbie Fields, David Robinson, Ken Jennings, J.C. Watts, Drayton McLane Jr., Sherron Watkins, Bob Dole, Marcus Luttrell, Lech Walesa, Tony Dorsett, and Stedman Graham.

For more information, contact the President’s Office at 936.294.3415 or events@shsu.edu.


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