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Nolan and Reid Ryan cherish Father's Day

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) - While Father's Day comes once a year for everyone else, that's hardly the case for Astros president Reid Ryan.

"It is just one of those things that I don't take for granted, and although Father's Day is a special day, every time I'm at the ballpark with my dad it's Father's Day," Reid Ryan said.

Reid's father, Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan, rejoined the Astros organization in February as executive advisor to owner Jim Crane, general manager Jeff Luhnow and his son, Reid.

He had previously pitched nine years for the Astros and had been a consultant for the franchise before moving on to become president of the Texas Rangers.

"It's special because it's at the end of my baseball career," Nolan Ryan said. "It gives me an opportunity to stay involved and stay involved on a different level and with a different interest level.

"It's unique and I hope some really exciting things happen we can share together and look back on later in life, at a different time in our lives, and think how special they were."

The two Ryans have worked together for many years in their family-owned businesses and had worked together in running their minor league baseball franchises in Round Rock and Corpus Christi, the latter is now owned by the Astros organization.

On Sunday, Father's Day, Reid Ryan will reflect on what that day means to him and his family.

"Father's Day is always special," Reid Ryan said. "So many of our Father's Days over our life have been at the ballpark. It always does have special meaning."

Even more so for the Ryan family because Nolan Ryan was only 22 when he lost his father.

"I never knew my grandpa and so I think Father's Day has always had an extra special meaning in our family just because we know how special it is to have that father-son relationship," Reid Ryan said.

"So yea I think that's goes through all of our minds, especially if you've ever had somebody have a health scare like my dad did in (2000). I don't take these Father's Days for granted."

Nolan Ryan's health scare led to a double coronary bypass.

"You never think in life that hey something is going to happen to Superman, and in a lot of ways that's how he was up until that point in his life," Reid Ryan said. "He had only retired a few years earlier from playing and then you realize that life's fragile, and at the end of the day it turned out that what they thought he had ended up not being what he had.

"What he had was able to be treated by medicine and he's been fine now for almost 15 years."

Nolan Ryan understands what that time was like for his oldest son.
 
"I think any time that a family is threatened with something like that, it's very unnerving for everybody," Nolan Ryan said. "Reid being the oldest in the family, I think he felt an awful lot of responsibility."

Of course Nolan Ryan would never refer to himself as Superman.

"I can honestly say that I've never looked at myself in that light," said the elder Ryan.

Reid Ryan will never forget when his father was involved in one of the most celebrated fights in baseball history.

In 1993 while Nolan Ryan was pitching for the Rangers against the Chicago White Sox, third baseman Robin Ventura charged the mound and both dugouts emptied with the fight raging in the middle of the field.

Reid Ryan had arrived at the stadium just moments before Ventura went ballistic.

"I was tempted to run out there," Reid Ryan said. "I wanted to be in the middle of it as well, the protective nature comes out.

"At the end of the day we knew he could handle himself pretty well."

Nolan Ryan laughed when told about what his son said.

"I appreciate that," he said. "I think if I was in his shoes that's probably the way I'd felt about it too."

While the two Ryans are having fun working together again in baseball, they are very serious about helping Crane and Luhnow bring a winner back to Minute Maid Park.

"He has so much knowledge to give in this game of baseball and very rarely do a father and son ever get to work together," Reid Ryan said.

"It's a connection that we have. It's something I enjoy and I feel like we compliment each other. So it makes for a really good team."

Nolan Ryan could not agree more.

"I feel very blessed that I've been able to spend as much time with my children as I have, and now with the grandchildren," Nolan Ryan said.

"I think it's a very special day for us and gives us an opportunity to reflect on all of our blessings and being thankful for them."

Reid Ryan said there is a lot to be thankful for.

"He's got seven beautiful grandchildren, three kids, a loving wife and we're all still getting to work in this game of baseball," Reid Ryan said.



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