Source: Reid Ryan to be named president of Astros
Son of Hall of Fame pitcher has been running Round Rock, Corpus Christi teams
HOUSTON -- Reid Ryan, the son of Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and president and CEO of Ryan-Sanders Baseball, will be named the next president of the Astros, a source confirmed to MLB.com on Thursday.
The Astros have scheduled a news conference Friday for 1 p.m. CT, at which time they'll name Ryan their new team president. The news conference can be seen live on MLB.com and Astros.com.
Ryan, who runs the Triple-A Round Rock Express (Rangers) and Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros), both of which are owned by Nolan Ryan and Houston businessman Don Sanders, will be introduced at a news conference on Friday.
The position of club president became open when George Postolos announced Monday he was stepping down.
Reid Ryan has been unavailable for comment, and the Astros have not commented, but those who know the personable 41-year-old are confident in his management skills
"I've been around many people and none are more confident, more dedicated, more focused, more willing to do whatever it takes than Reid Ryan," Sanders said. "I've spent a lot of time with him in the last 15 years. If I owned a baseball team and I had the ability to hire anybody, he would be the one I would hire."
Ryan serves on the board of trustees for Minor League Baseball, the executive committee of the Pacific Coast League and is the board of trustees representative for the Minor League Baseball Internet Rights Company (BIRCO). He is also involved in many other business ventures, including real estate, banking and the restaurant industry.
His father played 27 years in the Major Leagues, including nine with the Astros, and became Major League Baseball's all-time strikeout leader before being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999. He is currently CEO of the Rangers.
The youngest Ryan brother, Reese, is chief financial officer for Ryan-Sanders Baseball.
Round Rock, the Astros' Triple-A affiliate prior to switching its affiliation to the Rangers, and Corpus Christi have been two of the most successful Minor League franchises since their inceptions.
Round Rock averaged 8,389 fans per game last year, which led the Pacific Coast League. Corpus Christi averaged 5,556 fans, which was second-best in the Texas League behind Frisco, the Rangers' Double-A affiliate.
The Astros have undergone a huge makeover under owner Jim Crane's watch, including a switch to the American League this year and new uniforms, color schemes and logos and a rebuilding through the Draft and player development under general manager Jeff Luhnow.
One of the front-burner issues for Reid Ryan figures to be helping to get Astros games back on TV for a majority of the Houston market. The absence of a deal between CSN Houston and satellite/cable providers such as DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T U-verse and Time Warner Cable have left about 60 percent of the market without the ability to watch Astros games on a daily basis.
Sanders said Ryan was the impetus behind bringing Minor League baseball to the Austin area and the Texas coastal bend.
"I've got to give him 99 percent of the credit," he said.
Nolan Ryan teamed with Sanders to buy the Double-A Jackson Generals in the late 1990s and in 2000 founded the Round Rock Express, which plays in Dell Diamond in suburban Austin. The Express served as the Double-A affiliate of the Astros before Ryan-Sanders moved the franchise to Corpus Christi when it purchased Edmonton's Triple-A team and moved it into Round Rock.
The Express became the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate in 2011. The Double-A Hooks have been playing in Whataburger Field since 2005 and have been an Astros affiliate since their inception.
Reid Ryan was also the brainchild behind this year's Major League Baseball exhibition games at the Alamodome in San Antonio that drew more than 80,000 fans for two games between the Rangers and the Padres, whose Double-A team is in the Alamo City.
"He's just a bright guy that has it all together," Sanders said. "He presents himself well, he's dedicated and he knows and understands what it takes to be successful. He will be a tremendous asset."
Like his father, Reid Ryan grew up in Alvin, Texas, just south of Houston, and graduated from Alvin High School. He played baseball at Texas Christian University and was drafted by the Rangers -- while his father was pitching for them -- in 1994, but his baseball career soon gave way to one in the front office.