Special to the Sun
The Alvin Museum Society is preparing two new exhibits about Nolan Ryan and is drawing on some private citizens’ collections to honor Brazoria County’s favorite son.
While the museum society readies a permanent Nolan Ryan exhibit, slated to open to the public in April, a temporary exhibit will debut at the Alvin Historical Museum, 300 W. Sealy St. in March.
Some of the items in the temporary exhibit come from the sports memorabilia collection of Alvin resident Charles McCauley.
McCauley, a retired Alvin ISD educator, is a lifelong fan and acquaintance of Ryan. McCauley’s collection of Nolan Ryan mementos includes four signed jerseys and a framed collection of Nola Ryan baseball cards.
Although McCauley never played baseball with Ryan, the pitcher did impress him.
“[I’ve seen Ryan’s] citizenship competitiveness, charity, strength of character, entrepreneurship, and love of family,” McCauley said. Like many long-time Alvin residents, McCauley can say he knew Ryan ‘way back when.’
In McCauley’s case the way back when goes all the way back to when Ryan was 10 years old. However, unlike a lot Brazoria County residents, McCauley can also say he taught a certain young lady named Ruth Holdorff. Holdorff later married Ryan.
Along with McCauley’s artifacts, the temporary exhibit will include mementos from other private collections — including items from Ryan’s storied high school career. A career that saw Ryan put up a 19-3 record in his senior year, with 12 complete games and 211 strikeouts.
Ryan’s devastating fastball helped take the Alvin Yellowjackets to the state finals in 1965. Both the temporary and permanent exhibit will include depictions of Ryan’s civic and charitable involvement in Alvin and Brazoria County.