The Following post was written by Nathan Hague for the Marshall News Messenger.
If he wanted to, Nolan Ryan could probably run for the governor of Texas and win in a landslide. He’s beloved by Houston Astros fans and deeply missed by Texas Rangers fans. Back in 2010, I attended a game in Houston while Ryan was the CEO of the Rangers, and the Astros were giving away bobble heads of Ryan. Both sides have always claimed them as their own and at that time, I bragged to Astros fans that Ryan is a true Ranger. Now, the tables are turned, and the Ryan Express has is in H-Town as the Rangers are currently in dismay and their fans are wondering if the club is suffering from the curse of the Ryan Express.
Baseball is full of curses, or at least rumors of them. The Chicago Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908 and many people hold fast to the belief that it’s because of the curse of the Billy Goat. William “Billy Goat” Sianis wanted to bring his pet goat to Wrigley for a World Series game in 1945 but was denied the right by the owner who said the goat smelled. Before exiting the park, Sianis said, “You are going to lose this World Series and you are never going win another World Series again. You are never going to win a World Series again because you insulted my goat.” So far, he’s right.
Back-to-back curses were broken in 2004 and 2005. The first was the Curse of the Bambino, probably the most famous of baseball. In 1903, The Boston Red Sox won the very first World Series and that was followed by five more World Series wins in the course of the next 10 years. For who knows why, the Red Sox traded legendary Babe Ruth to their rivals, the New York Yankees, who went on to have a significant amount of success as Boston went through 86-year drought. That curse was broken when the Red Sox came back down three games to none in the ALCS where they defeated the Yankees and earned their way to the World Series.
The White Sox had their turn at breaking a curse the following year. Eight members of the 1919 White Sox were involved in a conspiracy to throw the World Series and the team was dubbed the “Black Sox.” The Curse of the Black Sox was broken when the club won the 2005 World Series.
The Ryan Express helped guide the Rangers to back-to-back World Series but they couldn’t quite get over the hump and be World Series champions. Members of the Rangers’ front office were power hungry and Ryan eventually eased his way out of Arlington, and eventually landed back in Houston, the same year that the Astros joined the American League West, and finished with the best record between the two Texas teams.
Then the Rangers hosted the Astros for their home opener, as disaster struck. News was released that Derek Holland will be out for about two months. Shin-Soo Choo was sidelined with an injury and Ryan Rua headed was put on the DL. On top of that, the Rangers entered the 2015 season with news of their ace, Yu Darvish, being out for the year due to having Tommy John surgery. Trades and free agency moves made by the club weren’t the type of moves Ryan would’ve wanted and all signs point to him being right. If it weren’t for Ryan, the Rangers would never have been to the World Series and now, it certainly looks like they’re not going back. If the Astros go back to before the Rangers, we’ll know the Curse of the Ryan Express is the real deal. Hopefully, like a couple of the other curses, this one too can be broken.