Former major-league baseball pitcher headlines museum event 

Enjoy two evenings celebrating contributions to the stories of the American West Friday and Saturday at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum's 48th annual Western Heritage Awards.

The awards ceremony honors those in literature, music, film and television whose work reflects the American West. Baseball great Nolan Ryan will receive this year's prestigious Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award, and other awards will be given to those inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners and the Hall of Great Western Performers.

"It is dubbed as the 'Western Oscars,'" said museum spokeswoman Shayla Simpson.

The two-day event kicks off 5:30 p.m. Friday at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 N.E. 63rd, with a casual evening that includes entertainment, hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, a book-and-CD autograph session and the opportunity to meet and mix with the honorees.

A Wrangler Award Winners' reception and book-and-CD autograph session begins 5 p.m. Saturday, followed by a formal dinner and awards ceremony at 6 p.m., where "CSI: Miami" star Rex Linn will serve as master of ceremonies.

"The VIPs, the celebrities, the entertainment factor that comes to the National Cowboy Museum for this event, is a great opportunity for people within Oklahoma City to come out and see what this jewel of a museum can put on and produce for the city," Simpson said.

Friday admission is $25, and Saturday is $130 for museum members and $150 for nonmembers.

 "Caitlin Harrison

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