Nolan Ryan milks win over Willie Stargell

ANAHEIM, Calif. – As Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan prepared to throw his ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday's game with the Los Angeles Angels, he couldn't help but keep an eye on the cow milking competition on the field.

As part of Dairy Night, Rangers reliever Robbie Ross, dressed in his cowboy attire that he wears when he takes the backpack to the bullpen prior to every game, could not beat the Angels' Cole Calhoun. Ross, who grew up in Kentucky and said he once milked a goat when he was eight years old, had just a quarter-pound of milk in his bucket. Calhoun had two pounds.

Rangers pitchers Joe Nathan, Mark Lowe, and Derek Holland were close by to cheer him on.

Ryan, though, probably would have fared better. Ryan, who lives on a ranch in Georgetown and owns Nolan Ryan Beef, said he once competed in a cow milking event as part of a farm and ranch day with the New York Mets.

“I beat Willie Stargell,” Ryan said. “I blew him away. It was embarrassing how little he had in his pail. I don’t think I won anything except bragging rights and I’m still bragging.

Ryan said they had egg throwing and chow chip contests, too. But he remembers that milking the cow made his forearms sore for “about a week.”

“I was in and out of the rotation with the Mets in those days, so it wasn’t as big an issue,” Ryan said. “But in a four-day rotation over here, I wasn’t doing it again.”