Nolan Ryan talks with Bob Allen

May 14, 2009 4:08:25 PM PDT
He is a legendary Texan. One of the most popular and revered athletes to ever play in Houston, but we have a side of Nolan Ryan you've never seen before.[SPORTS BLOG: Read the latest from the Eyewitness Sports team]

We have Ryan in his own words.

Ryan is a kid from Alvin who made good. He is one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history with seven no hitters. Beyond that he is the all time strikeout leader with 5,714 strikeouts in 27 big league seasons. He's a hall of famer. Now Nolan is the president of the Texas Rangers and lives in Fort Worth.

When we talked last week, he credited his wife Ruth of nearly 42 years as a big reason behind any success he's had.

"I look at Ruth today as I did when I was 18 years old, I'm in love with her as much today as then," Ryan told me. "The sacrifices she's made in her life for my career and children. I think it's great that we're in a part of our lives where she can pursue the things she wants to do whether its tennis, golf or grandkids."

Ruth told me a long time ago that she had trouble establishing her own identity.

"Being married to someone who got a lot of attention and is as followed as baseball players are, their wives get pushed into the background," Ryan said. "I knew it was important for me to tell her how much she's appreciated and how important she is to our family."

Now Ryan is busy with the Rangers, his ranches, his meat company and endorsements. I asked him what his best memories of his baseball career are.

"I can't say there is one moment or one game, but my time here in Houston with the group of players that were here and were very unique, I am really proud of and honor today," Ryan said.

And finally how often is he reminded of his late career confrontation with a young Robin Ventura.

"If I go somewhere to speak I get that question by the third question," Ryan admitted. "I marvel at the fact that all the neat things that happened in my career, that seems to be very high on the list for people. I tell people I thank ESPN for showing it, they showed it for 100 times to make sure no one missed it."

Tuesday we head out to Bum Phillip's ranch in Goliad. He's nearly 86 and still doesn't miss a thing. I asked what he does and he told me nothing and he doesn't start that until noon.

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