The Round Rock Express is a Minor League Baseball team of the Pacific Coast League. They are also a Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros major league club. The team calls Round Rock, Texas, as their home, and they play their home games at the Dell Diamond. The team is known for its Baseball Hall of Famer player Nolan Ryan or also known as “The Ryan Express.” Nolan Ryan, along with his son Reid Ryan and Don Sanders, are the team’s owners. In this article, we are going to know more about the Round Rock Express.
History of the Round Rock Express
The Round Rock Express is owned by Nolan Ryan and Don Sanders. The team was founded in 2000 at the same time that the Dell Diamond opened, and it moved the Double-A Texas League’s Jackson Generals to a new park. In 2003, Corpus Christi, a coastal city in the South Texas region, offered Nolan Ryan and Don Sanders $20 million to construct a stadium and move a professional franchise there. Ryan and Sanders were convinced that Round Rock could handle a Triple-A baseball.
On the other hand, the Pacific Coast League’s Edmonton Trappers franchise was left isolated because of the departure of the Calgary Cannons. That is why they are under pressure from the rest of the league to move to the United States. That is why after the 2003 season, the Ryan Sanders group decided to buy the Trappers franchise because they had plans to relocate it to Round Rock for the 2005 season once the Corpus Christi stadium was finished for the Double-A franchise. The Triple-A club now has the Round Rock Express identity, and the Double-A club became the Corpus Christi Hooks. After that, the Ryan Sanders group was able to seal a deal and swapped the New Orleans Zephyrs in order for them to get the Astros’ Triple-A affiliation for their new PCL club.
In 2006, the Round Rock Express ended the Southern Division of the League’s American Conference with a score of 85-59. After the Round Rock Express defeated the Nashville Sounds to compete at the American Conference Championship, the team advance to the PCL championship series. However, they lost to the Tucson Sidewinders.
After having six seasons of being a Triple-A affiliate of the Houston Astros and 11 seasons of being associated with the Astros overall, the Round Rock Express became the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers in 2011. However, through the end of the 2018 season, the attendance figures dropped to about 8 percent since the Round Rock Express changed affiliations from Houston to Texas.
In 20116, Forbes included the Round Rock Express in their list of the most valuable Minor League Baseball team, and they stated that the team had a value of $40 million. In 2018, the Round Rock Express said that it agreed to have a 4-year Player Development Contract with the Houston Astros.