Nolan Ryan: I booted first pitch

Updated: October 24, 2011, 7:28 PM ET
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington gave his Hall of Fame boss, CEO Nolan Ryan, a passed ball after Ryan was unable to grab the ceremonial first pitch thrown to him by former president George W. Bush.

"He was trying to frame the pitch," said Washington, chuckling. "It was a passed ball."

Prior to Game 4 of the World Series, Ryan went out to home plate and dropped to one knee. He was wearing a catcher's glove and when Bush's fastball came at him, Ryan wasn't able to grab it as it went off his glove.

"I booted it," Ryan said. "I'd love to be able to sit here and make a bunch of excuses, but you know, he threw an 80 mile-an-hour running fastball and I was using a catcher's mitt, and I should have taken a glove. But I was glad it was me instead of him, you know? I think that's probably as hard as he can throw."

Richard Durrett covers the Rangers for ESPNDallas.com.

Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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