The Round Rock Express will kick off its 20th season aligned with the Houston Astros, General Manager Tim Jackson confirmed Thursday.
“Having the Houston Astros coming off a World Series Championship and going toward a playoff run again this season, there is so much excitement for Astros fans,” Jackson said. “From a baseball standpoint, that’s a tough thing to pass up when the World Series champs come to you and want to reaffiliate.”
The Express announced Tuesday that it is parting ways with the Texas Rangers after eight years.
“The Texas Rangers organization was first class for us,” Jackson said. “We are so thankful for those last eight years.”
“This is a great day for all Central Texas baseball fans,” Reese Ryan said in a press release. “The Astros have been a big part of our family and this area for a long time. We’re excited to partner with them once again as we get ready for our 20th anniversary season at Dell Diamond.”
The Express were founded as a Double-A franchise in 2000 by Ryan Sanders Baseball, a group made up of Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, his sons Reid and Reese, Houston businessman Don Sanders and his sons, Bret and Brad. Reid currently serves as the President of Business Operations for the Astros while Nolan is an Executive Advisor.
Jackson said the family ties coupled with the success of the Astros made the alignment a good fit.
“It’s a no brainer across the board,” Jackson said. “It was ideal for [the Ryan family]and for us.”
To celebrate the realignment as well as the team’s 20th anniversary, the Express announced a slight rebranding Thursday evening. The team altered its logos and color scheme to an aesthetic more similar to what they wore in the early 2000s.