Nolan’s Bank

A couple of years ago I may have scoffed at the idea of depositing my money someplace simply because of a baseball connection, but in light of recent events, it may not be the worst idea in the world:

Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan and investment firm founder Don Sanders, co-principal owners of the Round Rock Express triple-A baseball team, are set to launch a new bank based in Round Rock. R Bank Texas, projected to open in early June, has raised $12 million in startup capital, according to filings with the Texas Department of Banking . . .

. . . The first Ryan-Sanders joint venture in the financial services sector was The Express Bank, which opened in 1990 south of Houston, after Nolan Ryan acquired nearby Danbury State Bank and renamed the charter. A year later, he acquired the Alvin branch of Merchants Bank-Houston and folded it into The Express Bank.

That two-branch franchise, with about $50 million in assets, was sold to Houston-based First Community Bank in 2002. The bank took its name from Ryan’s nickname, “The Express,” when he was a ballplayer.

It never occurred to me that you can make money by flipping banks, but then again, I never thought a guy that threw a ball 100 mph could pitch for 27 years either.

But be careful: if this bank issues bonds they, like the bank’s owner, may be vastly overrated.

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Good luck getting a bank operating license from the OCC right now. They aren’t issuing any.