Ryan replaces Chuck Greenberg, who resigned as chief executive and managing partner in March. Ryan, a Hall of Fame pitcher whose 5,714 strikeouts is the most in Major League Baseball history, will now vote for the Rangers on all matters during future meetings. Ryan will also be accountable to MLB for the operations of the club, which must remain in compliance with all of baseball's rules.
"Actually, that was the first item of business," Commissioner Bud Selig told the media after the meeting. "There was an intense debate that maybe lasted about 12 seconds. Maybe it didn't even last 12 seconds. It was very quick, done, over. He's done a remarkable job there the last couple of years."
Ryan joined the Rangers as president in 2008, and under his watch, the team made a quick surge to its first American League pennant in 2010, when the club lost the World Series to the San Francisco Giants in five games.
During the course of last season, the franchise was sold by Tom Hicks at a bankruptcy court auction to a group headed by Greenberg and Ryan. Greenberg, a Pittsburgh attorney, who, like Ryan, has a stake in a number of Minor League baseball teams, had a falling out with his partners earlier this year and sold his portion of the team.
The sale of the Rangers for $593 million was approved Aug. 12 by the owners at their annual summer meeting, held in Minneapolis. Ray Davis, a Dallas billionaire, and Fort Worth businessman Bob Simpson were the co-lead investors.
The sale of the team became a necessity in 2009, when Hicks defaulted on $525 million in loans involving his sports empire from a multitude of banks, and MLB directed Hicks to divest himself of the franchise. The sale to the Greenberg-Ryan group was agreed upon later that year, but since the banks wouldn't accept the terms under which the loans would be repaid, Hicks ultimately filed for bankruptcy and the court directed sale of the club at the auction.
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.