DALLAS, Dec. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Dallas Morning News today launched its ninth annual Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year series, naming Nolan Ryan as a finalist. Editorials about nine finalists will appear from December 13 through December 23, with the 2011 Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year announced on December 25.
As noted in the editorial, the Texan of the Year is recognized for uncommon impact. And in 2011, Ryan displayed both leadership and grace as he guided the Texas Rangers following the tragic death of Shannon Stone, who fell from the stands after reaching out to catch a game ball for his young son. In the words of GM Jon Daniels, "Down in the bunker that night, for me, was a really good snapshot of how the organization runs and his leadership style. There were a million things going on at once. Nolan was asking questions to kind of guide things but letting everyone do what they needed to do."
To Rangers fans as well as the Stone family, Ryan was the face of the organization during this most difficult time. The editorial states, "Consider for a moment how other organizations, sporting or not, might have dealt with such tragedy. It's almost an afterthought that Ryan's baseball team would play in a second consecutive World Series. That's impact, too, but not quite as uncommon."
The full text of the editorial will be in Tuesday's paper and posted at dallasnews.com/texanoftheyear. Also, readers can share their opinions of the selection by visiting the editorial blog, http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com . Now in its ninth year, the Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year series draws from reader nominations to the newspaper's Editorial Board. Criteria call for "a Texan (or Texans) who has had uncommon impact – positive or negative – over the past year." The Editorial Board selected the finalists and winner through an internal vote. "Year after year, our readers send in such varied, worthy and thought-provoking candidates for Texan of the Year, that it is quite a challenge for our board to select 10 finalists and from there, the Texan of the Year," said Keven Ann Willey, vice president and editorial page editor of The News. "What stands out to me in 2011 is the depth and variety of finalists who may not be household names, but I am confident our readers will agree that we have arrived at a very strong list." Recent Dallas Morning News Texans of the Year include:
- 2010: Texas governor Rick Perry (for his peerless political instincts that led to an unprecedented third term as Texas governor and catapulted him onto the national stage)
- 2009: The Heroes of Fort Hood (recognizing those caught up in the terror of a mass shooting, extended to include all Fort Hood-based military people and their families)
- 2008: Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins (for his dedication to reversing cases of injustice)
- 2007: the illegal immigrant (caused the political and social pot to boil, while keeping Texas' economy humming)
- 2006: Roy Velez of Lubbock (for exemplifying love and compassion in the face of overwhelming tragedy, the war-related loss of his two sons)
- 2005: the city of Houston (for its stellar response to Hurricane Katrina victims)