ANAHEIM, Calif. – Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan figures he hasn’t been to Anaheim since walking off the mound in 1993 to a huge ovation. That was nearly 20 years ago.
“I remember I had pretty good stuff, but I didn’t win,” Ryan said.
He returned Friday night, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch and receiving a specially-designed ring to commemorate his inclusion in the Angels’ Hall of Fame.
Back in that September start in 1993, Ryan gave up one unearned run on four hits, but got a no-decision in a 2-1 loss. He had five strikeouts and no walks in seven innings. Ryan threw out his arm in his next start in Seattle and retired.
“I knew it was the last time I was going to pitch here, so it was sentimental,” Ryan said. “The fans have always treated me well here.”
Ryan played eight seasons for the Angels after he was dealt with pitcher Don Rose, catcher Francisco Estrada and outfielder Leroy Stanton for shortstop Jim Fregosi, who would later manage Ryan.
Ryan threw the first four of his record seven no-hitters as an Angel. He would later add one in Houston and two in Texas.
Ryan also pitched in the All-Star Game played in Anaheim in 1989 and made his first start for the Rangers in Anaheim in 1989, pitching a complete-game, three-hit shutout with two walks and 12 strikeouts.
Ryan said it was special because of how the fans received him after that.