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Baseball Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan is known for his record 5,714 strikeouts, but it looks like he hit a homerun this time.
Ryan, and an investment group he leads won an auction for the Texas Rangers Thursday with a $608 million bid. "It was an emotional roller coaster," a smiling Ryan said between hugs with colleagues and well-wishers in the courthouse, ESPN reports. "You go to court one day and it didn't go your way, but you go back another day and it would. It's a relief."
Ryan beat out Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in what became a long, contentious auction for the team. More than once attorneys were seen yelling at each other over the heated Texas Rangers auction. Ryan won the auction in federal bankruptcy court just before 1 a.m. Central Time. Cuban had offered nearly $600 million for the Rangers. The Rangers auction was the first major league baseball bankruptcy auction since Peter Angelos acquired the Baltimore Orioles out of bankruptcy in 1993 for $173 million.
League president Bob DuPuy spoke outside the courtroom, after the Texas Rangers auction ESPN reports: "I'm very pleased, and I look forward to Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan leading the team for many years to come."
The Rangers have $208 million in team debt they owe to Major League baseball and other creditors that Ryan and the new owners must assume, The Wall Street Journal Reports. The team is still paying off the $252 million dollar contract signed by now Yankee Alex Rodriguez. Even after trading him, the team had to pay $8 million a year as part of his contract. Rodriguez is a creditor in the Rangers bankruptcy proceeding; the slugger is still owed nearly $25 million by the team.
But for Nolan Ryan that's all details. Today is about celebrating a big victory for a man that has already had a career filled with success.