Covering Nolan

Priscilla Presley and Jackie Kennedy Onassis knew it. Life with a “legend” may be glamorous, but it sure ain’t easy. And next month, with the release of her book, Covering Home, Ruth Ryan tells us it isn’t easy even when the legend is good-guy Nolan Ryan.

Having spent 28 years at the side of her famous spouse, Ryan says she is accustomed to being viewed in the public eye as a “non person” and wrote the book to tell what life is like beyond the bullpen for players and their families.

“I find I have to explain myself to people all the time,” Nolan relates between engagements at her home in Alvin, Texas. “I resented that people didn’t always treat me as a person. I’ve never striven for any kind of identity. I just wanted people to know me as who I am, an honest and dependable person.”

Ryan says she wrote the book as a sort of family history to pass down to her three children, but also aims to reach the wives of other baseball players who must deal with constant moves from state to state, encounters with groupies, the uncertainty of jobs in professional sports, and the inevitable periods of physical separation from their husbands.

While Ryan notes that at 45 she feels better about herself than she has for a long time (“1 feel healthy and good; if I want to do something I can do it”), her book remains centered on her husband’s career, offering inning-by-inning descriptions of games and, naturally, lots of baseball stats. “Nobody cares what I think anyway,” she explains.

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