Dick Moss, my agent. Dick became my agent in 1979 when I signed my contract with the Houston Astros.
When I got traded to the California Angels, I really wasn’t that excited about going to the Angels because it meant changing leagues and also a whole new set of teammates. But shortly after I got there I realized that it was one of the best things that ever happened to me.
And to play as long as I did and to have a family you have to be very blessed and I was with my wife Ruth. Ruth, I appreciate the job you did, and my three fine children, Reid, Reese, and Wendy.
And then when I went to stay in ’68, I can honestly say that I was not focused on my career and on what it took to be a major league pitcher and to be a starting pitcher.
And when I retired, trust me, not only did Nolan Ryan, but the entire Ryan family had withdrawals from baseball. And it was tough.
I can honestly say it took two full years for me to get over the fact that I was no longer a baseball player.
What man in his 40s would not like to look in the mirror and find Nolan Ryan?
I like to refer to my years with the Angels as the foundation of my career.
I always thought that there was going to be life after baseball, and so I designed that in my life I would have other interests after baseball that I would be able to step into. And I didn’t realize the grip that baseball had on me and on my family.
And when I went to Houston, they had a conditioning coach by the name of Gene Coleman. And that was the first time I had gone to an organization that had a program with a weight room and designed specifically for pitchers.
For my children, they spent 15 to 20 years of their life in baseball. And Ruth and I spent so many years of our married life that that was our life. We knew nothing else.
And I’m a believer that you take a negative and turn it into a positive, and as it turned out, it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. And so I do appreciate the Ranger staff and the Ranger organization for giving me that opportunity.
I feel very fortunate that I played for the four organizations I did.
And that’s what makes this a great game, is the support and the commitment that the fans give the game.
I came into the game when I broke into the major leagues, the minimum salary was seven thousand dollars, and I’d have to go home in the wintertime and get a job.