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Nolan Ryan's Last Major League Contract Signed by Ryan and Rangers Owner George W. Bush - Full PSA

Lot Number 876

Quantity: Bid Starts: 12/03/2021 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 5000.00  Bid Ends: 12/17/2021 00:42:01 
Bid Count: 27  Overtime: 30 Minutes
Currently: 25000.00  Time Left: Ended
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Among the very few Ryan contracts ever to reach the auction block, this one is far and away the finest of them all.
For starters, it's the Texas Rangers contract that closed out the last chapter of his unparalleled career. Ryan left the Houston Astros on November 4, 1988, joined the Rangers as a free agent on December 7, 1988, and received this 1989 Uniform Player's Contract exactly one week later, on December 14, 1988. The 1989 contract then served as the base agreement for Ryan's remaining years in Arlington up until his retirement in 1993—as shown by the accompanying 3 addenda (Addendum 1, 2 and 3) that ultimately extended the agreement through the next 3 seasons. What's more, Addendum 3 is co-signed by Ryan's then-boss and soon-to-be close friend George W. Bush! Yes, 6 years before being elected Texas Governor and 12 years before becoming our 43rd U.S. President, Dubya was presiding over the Rangers as part-owner.


There was an immediate bond between Ryan and Bush. Both were Texans. Both ranchers. Both lived and breathed baseball. Not to mention their shared conservative politics. The Ryan Express even did a whistlestop tour for Bush's gubernatorial campaign in 1994, as Nolan shared the stage in Corpus Christi with Laura Bush and declared, "Not only is [George W. Bush] a friend, but I know the job he’ll do for South Texas. It’s important we get [a governor] with family values, somebody who cares about the state and was raised in the state." Following Bush's White House tenure—by which point Ryan himself was the Rangers' part-owner and president!—the pair would frequently attend Rangers games together in the owner's box, sometimes with wives Laura and Ruth Ryan as well. When Nolan stepped down in 2013, Bush's office issued a statement: "The Rangers will miss his presence—and I will miss sitting next to my pal at the ballpark. Laura and I wish Nolan and Ruth all the very best."


In total, there are 7 Nolan Ryan signatures and 1 George W. Bush signature as part of the offered 1989 contract, 1990-92 addenda and related receipt acknowledgement letters. They are as follows:


1989 Uniform Player's Contract/Addendum 1 (3 Ryan Signatures)

Contract dated December 14, 1988 and signed by Ryan and A.L. President Bobby Brown (also initialed once by Ryan). Two other Ryan signatures come on the accompanying three-page Addendum, which promises Ryan a $1,600,000 salary for 1989 and a $200,000 signing bonus, plus another $200,000 as a sort of golden parachute (should the Rangers have decided not to keep Ryan on), plus achievement bonuses for the All-Star Game ($50,000), Cy Young Award ($150,000), and/or W.S. MVP ($75,000). Also included is Ryan's signed USPO Certified Mail receipt from when the contract was mailed to his Texas home.


1990 Addendum 2/Acknowledgement Letter (2 Ryan Signatures)

Following the 1989 season and just prior to the start of 1990, Ryan received Addendum 2 in which the Rangers exercised their option to continue the contract into 1991. In return, the Rangers paid Ryan a $300,000 signing bonus on top of his $3 million salary. Ryan signed Addendum 2 on April 9, 1990. On August 2, 1990, he signed the corresponding receipt acknowledgement letter on official Rangers stationery, also featured here.


1991 Addendum 3 (2 Ryan Signatures, 1 George W. Bush Signature)

Which brings us to the next year's all-important Addendum 3, dated July 17, 1991 and extending the same initial 12/14/88 contract into the 1992 season. Again the deal was a $300,000 signing bonus with the $200,000 golden parachute, but now, it's Page 5 of the new addendum that elevates this piece into a whole new stratosphere of value and collectability with President George W. Bush's signature appearing below Ryan's. Finally, the historic archive of documents concludes with a corresponding 8/11/91 Ryan-signed receipt acknowledgement letter on official Rangers stationery.


Full LOA from PSA/DNA.

Pictures  (Click on Photo to Enlarge)