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Rangers Promote Coach with Parkinson's

September call up will help improve Brian Dayett's quality of life

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A recent call up to the Texas Rangers has sent smiles throughout the dugout and beyond. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014)

    There hasn't been much to cheer for at Globe Life Park in Arlington in 2014.

    The Texas Rangers have fallen quickly from four straight 90-win seasons to a 90-plus loss year that could end with the team having the worst record in the majors.

    But a recent call up to the big club has sent smiles throughout the dugout and beyond.

    "It was kinda special to be able to do that for him, to get him up here the last couple weeks of the season," said Rangers interim Manager Tim Bogar about the recent promotion of minor league roving hitting instructor Brian Dayett.

    When Manager Ron Washington resigned in early September, it opened a spot for the Rangers to fill on the major league coaching staff.

    "I enjoy it. It's great being in the uniform still," said 57-year-old Dayett, ahead of Wednesday's game against the Houston Astros. "The Rangers have been really good to me."

    Dayett has spent 10 seasons as a coach for the Rangers at the minor league level.

    Before that, he played parts of five seasons for the New York Yankees and the Chicago Cubs in the early to mid-1980s.

    "It's been 26 years [since I have been part of a major league squad] and it's thrilling as always being here. And it's great to go to all the big parks again," Dayett said.

    One might expect someone in Dayett's position to be nervous about the call up. But what one might misinterpret as a nervous twitch is actually something far more serious.

    "I've got Parkinson's Disease, and I've had it for about 14 years now," said Dayett, his left hand steadily bouncing up and down on his thigh. "I've been dealing with it. Of course, the major league insurance is gonna be beneficial in that. That'll help."

    Medical insurance coverage and pension payments are better for people at the major league level than those in the minors, like Dayett was until recently. And because of his September call up, Dayett can keep the major league benefits through the start of the 2015 season.

    The team has apparently benefited from the promotion as well.

    "He's kinda like our good luck charm right now," Bogar said. "We're playing real well."

    As of Wednesday, the Rangers are 8-1 with Dayett in the dugout.

    His influence has mostly been felt with the numerous rookies who have been called up to the major league roster this season, Bogar said.

    "The kids, knowing Brian, they see his face. They know who he is and what he's bringing for them," Bogar said. "The kids are real comfortable around him."

    "They came out of Double-A and Triple-A, and they're kids that I've seen all season. And it's good to see them coming through and getting some big hits," Dayett said, his face beaming with pride.

    Like those young September call-ups, Dayett's future at the big league level in 2015 is still a question.

    But he is more than happy to enjoy the ride while it lasts.

    "It's an honor to be able to get back up here and have an opening and for me to hang in there and get a shot again," Dayett said.