Traveling exhibition visits the home of the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate owned by Nolan Ryan
By Joe Sparacio
Seven no-hitters. 324 wins. 5,714 strikeouts. Nolan Ryan's numbers strike fear into the hearts of hitters even today. Is there a more impressive pitcher enshrined in Cooperstown than the former ace, who chose to wear a Rangers cap on his plaque? While that's up for debate, Ryan's impact on the game of baseball is not, and thus it's fitting that MLB's Hall of Fame Tour visits Round Rock, Texas -- home of the Rangers' Triple-A affiliate Round Rock Express, which is partially owned by Nolan and his son Reese and was founded by his son Reid, who is now the president of business operations for the Astros.
The traveling exhibition, which began its 2017 circuit in Scottsdale, Ariz., made its second stop of the year at Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas, home of the Frisco RoughRiders, and will arrive at Dell Diamond in Round Rock on April 20.
The Tour is a unique attraction that blends state-of-the-art virtual reality with Hall of Fame artifacts and interactive displays to give fans a truly unique baseball experience. New to the Hall of Fame Tour in 2017 is MLBAM's state-of-the-art virtual reality video game, "Home Run Derby," which allows fans to compete in a Major League Home Run Derby within the unparalleled 3D environment of one of eight iconic ballparks.
In addition, those attending the Hall of Fame Tour will have access to up-close-and-personal virtual reality experiences from the 2016 postseason. Fans will be able to relive the dramatic highlights from the Wild Card Games all the way through the final out of the Cubs' historic World Series win -- and even the championship parade through Chicago.
In the past, notable Major League alumni have stopped by to visit the Tour, including Bert Blyleven in both Kansas City and Minnesota, Ozzie Smith in St. Louis, and Rollie Fingers in Milwaukee. And you never know who might stop by in Round Rock, as notable Express alumni include Orioles outfielder Chris Davis, Giants outfielder Hunter Pence and former Astros ace Roy Oswalt.
The Round Rock Express play at home from April 20-25, so head to the ballpark to take in a game and explore this one-of-a-kind Cooperstown experience. The Tour will be in Round Rock until April 29, after which it departs for Tulsa, Okla.
Joseph Sparacio is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.