WACO, TX – March 7, 2016 –The Texas Sports Hall of Fame (TSHOF) is proud to announce the Ryan Foundation will be moving the Nolan Ryan Museum to the TSHOF in Waco from its current Alvin, Texas, location. The Exhibit will be open to the general public beginning Monday, March 21st .
“This is a great addition to the museum,” said Hall of Fame President Jared Mosley. “Nolan Ryan is the ultimate representative of Texas sports. He was the best in his game, he was the ultimate competitor yet humble, and he was very much a Texan.”
Texas Sports History – like Texas history itself – is dominated by athletes who were larger than life. But few were bigger than Nolan Ryan, whose seven no-hitters may be the one truly unbreakable record in sports. Ryan has as many no-hitters as the next two pitchers in the record books combined. His 5,714 strikeouts are also a major league record.
After retiring from baseball, Ryan settled back in his hometown of Alvin. In 1996, the Nolan Ryan Center was built at the cost of $1.2 million, and was donated to Alvin Community College, with a space leased for the Nolan Ryan Museum, which opened in 1999.
A portion of the museum’s collection will be located in the tribute room gallery at TSHOF that also houses such icons of Texas sports as Grant Teaff, Darrell Royal, Doak Walker, Harvey Penick and George Foreman.
The collection includes items from Ryan’s high school career, professional career, as well as memorabilia, tickets, retired jerseys, World Series and All-Star rings, and others.
Ryan was born in Alvin, where he played high school baseball. In 1965, he was drafted by the New York Mets in the 12th round of the amateur draft. He ultimately played for four teams, and is the only player to have his jersey retired by three teams. In addition to the Mets, Ryan played for the Angels before finishing his career with the two Texas Major League Teams, the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers.
“Nolan Ryan epitomizes Texas sports because he came home to Texas and played his best baseball here in the Lone Star State,” Mosley said. “It’s rare in this day and age for professional athletes to have that opportunity.
When Ryan arrived at the Astros, he had been in the league 14 years. At the time that most players are contemplating retirement, Ryan’s best days were ahead of him, as he displayed in his first game in an Astros uniform, when the man known for pitching pounded a 3-run home run out of the park against the LA Dodgers. On September 26, 1981, he threw his fifth no-hitter at age 34. After joining the Rangers, Ryan threw two more no-hitters at ages 43 and 44.
“Nolan Ryan’s career is so incredible because he never slowed down,” Mosely said. “In fact, he seemed to get better with age. That’s why he’s been such an inspiration to a generation of Texas sports fans. Bringing the Nolan Ryan museum to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame allows us to share that story.”
Ryan was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999. In addition to his involvement in a number of successful business ventures, he remains connected to baseball, serving as an advisor to the owner of the Houston Astros.
“The legend of Texas sports was established by men like Nolan Ryan, Earl Campbell and Doak Walker,” Mosely said. “The Texas Sports Hall of Fame is committed to honoring them, sharing their stories and inspiring future generations of Texans. As a museum, we honor the past, but we will continue to grow in the future to tell the story of the passion, the heroism and the glory that is the story of sports in Texas.”
Museum hours are 9:00am-5:00pm Monday-Saturday.
About the Texas Sports Hall of Fame
The Texas Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, located in Waco, chronicles the heroes and legends of Lone Star State sports at all levels, including high school standouts, Olympians and professionals.