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Ryan Will Return . . . One Day Later : Rangers Push His Start Against Angels Back to Thursday

Times Staff Writer

It’s been 10 years since Nolan Ryan took the mound at Anaheim Stadium.

And because the Texas Rangers’ game with Seattle was rained out Sunday, Ryan’s first Anaheim appearance since Sept. 24, 1979, has been pushed back a day. Ryan tentatively was scheduled to face the Angels’ Chuck Finley Wednesday, but his start has been moved to Thursday.

Ryan (9-4) will face Kirk McCaskill (9-4) in the 7:30 p.m. game. The change will give Ryan five days’ rest between starts. With five days’ rest this season, Ryan is 5-1 with a 1.95 earned-run average.

The change put a crimp in the plans of fans who had purchased tickets for Wednesday’s game expecting to see The Express, who pitched four no-hitters as an Angel from 1972-79.

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To accommodate those fans, the Angels are offering a ticket exchange. Any Wednesday ticket purchased at the Angels’ Anaheim Stadium box office can now be traded for a ticket for Thursday’s game. The Angels say their box office will make such exchanges until 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

As for Ryan, he came to the stadium early Monday to visit with Jimmie Reese, the Angels’ conditioning coach, and some of the team’s front-office personnel. Ryan said he also hopes to see Angel owner Gene Autry this week.

“I have fond memories of my years here,” Ryan said. “It’s disappointing to see the stadium the way it is now, all closed in. It wasn’t like that when I was here. I always thought it was one of the best in baseball. Now, it’s just another big stadium.”

Ryan said there isn’t one game as an Angel that stands out in his memory, but his fourth no-hitter in 1975 and the Western Division championship season in 1979 were the highlights of a bittersweet experience in Anaheim.

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“My attitude is that I hope people come out and enjoy watching me pitch,” Ryan said.


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