Pirates' Banister Is Texas' New Skipper

The Texas Rangers will hold a news conference Friday morning at 11 a.m. to introduce Jeff Banister as the new manager of the club.

The Texas Rangers have hired Pittsburgh Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister as the team's new manager.

Banister, 50, received a multi-year deal to become the team's 18th manager in team history, the Rangers said Thursday afternoon.

“I want to thank the Texas Rangers for giving me this opportunity. I am elated to have the chance to make an impact on the organization, and I look forward to getting started on that task," Banister said. “I also want to express my gratitude to the Pittsburgh Pirates for the last 29 years. My experiences in that organization have prepared me well for this new opportunity, and I thank all of the individuals who have poured into my life along the way.”

Banister graduated from LaMarque High School in Texas in 1982 and spent 29 years working for the Pirates organization, the last four as Pittsburgh's bench coach.

“On behalf of the entire organization, I want to welcome Jeff Banister and his family to the Texas Rangers,” said Rangers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jon Daniels. “We believe that Jeff is the right individual to lead our club going forward. His energy, knowledge, integrity, and passion for the game stood out during a very intensive and thorough interview process. We’re excited to get started on the task at hand.”

According to a New York Times article written in 2011, Banister overcame multiple serious injuries in his time as a player: seven knee and ankle operations in high school, and a broken neck in college suffered during a collision at home plate. 

The neck injury left him temporarily paralyzed.   He still managed to play professional baseball, mostly in the minor leagues, before making one MLB appearance for the Pirates, which resulted in a base hit.

Banister replaces the most-successful manager in Rangers franchise history in Ron Washington, who resigned during the 2014 season because of personal matters.

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