Ryan retiring as Rangers' CEO

Nolan Ryan will retire as chief executive officer of the Texas Rangers effective Oct. 31, the Hall of Famer announced Thursday.

Ryan was appointed as the Rangers' CEO in March of 2011 and had previously served as the team's president since February of 2008. The owner of the most no-hit games in Major League Baseball history will turn 67 years old in January.

"This is the right time for me to step down from my role of overseeing the Rangers organization," said Ryan. "I am extremely proud of what this organization has accomplished. On the field, we have enjoyed great success at the major league level. The fans have supported us in record numbers the last two years and we have been able to upgrade the ballpark and enhance the in- game experience to reward that loyalty."

The Rangers have yet to announce a successor to Ryan, who helped oversee the most successful period in the franchise's 42-year existence in the Lone Star State.

Texas had never appeared in a World Series prior to making back-to-back trips in 2010 and 2011 and has recorded at least 90 wins in each of the last four seasons. The Rangers reached the playoffs in three of those years, having lost to Tampa Bay in an elimination contest to earn a spot in the American League Wild Card game earlier this month.

Over Ryan's six seasons as an executive, Texas has posted the fifth-best overall winning percentage in the majors at .551.

"We have a group of talented and passionate employees who have helped make this success possible. This organization is in good hands," said Ryan. "I am leaving with a lot of great memories from my tenure here and I know the organization will continue to thrive in the years to come."

The Rangers have also been quite successful at the gate during Ryan's tenure, drawing over three million fans in each of the past two seasons. Texas registered the highest increase in attendance between the 2008 and 2009 campaigns and had the third-largest increase the following season.

"Under Nolan's leadership and guidance over the last six years, the Rangers organization has made enormous strides both on and off the field, Rangers co- chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson said in a joint statement. "Nolan has meant so much to this franchise and to our fans. We thank him for his many contributions, including his role in helping to develop one of the finest baseball operations staff in the game."

Ryan, who spent the last five seasons of his prolific 27-year playing career with the Rangers from 1989-93, had been among the leaders of a group that purchased the team out of bankruptcy from former owner Tom Hicks in 2010.