Former Stockton Ports manager Webster Garrison, a longtime coach in the A’s minor-league system, is on a ventilator in Louisiana, battling the coronavirus, and the team’s minor-league players and staff had been asked to quarantine through Friday, March 27.
As soon as the A’s learned of Garrison’s diagnosis, they informed minor-league personnel and players that a staff member had been exposed to the virus, though the organization believes that exposure occurred after Garrison left Fitch Park, Oakland’s minor-league complex, on March 13.
On Facebook, Garrison’s fiancee, Nikki Trudeaux, said she also has the coronavirus and is in quarantine. “The love of my life is on a ventilator in the hospital, fighting for his life, and I can’t even be at his side!” Trudeaux posted late Friday, asking for prayers for Garrison.
Garrison, 54, is known as one of the kindest coaches in the minor leagues; he was the Ports’ manager 2011-2013 and again in 2019. He had a cup of coffee in the big leagues, playing five games with the A’s in 1996, and he has spent the past 22 years in Oakland’s organization as a coach and manager. This year he was assigned to manage one of the A’s Arizona rookie-league teams.
As news of Garrison’s medical condition spread Saturday, the A’s issued a statement confirming that a minor-league staff member had tested positive for COVID-19 and was receiving treatment. “We want to extend our sincerest thoughts and prayers to our colleague for a speedy recovery,” the statement read. “We are committed to providing him and his family with support and care. Every person on our team plays a critical role to our success and we look forward to his return to the field.”
Former A’s minor-league reliever Seth Frankoff tweeted, “Praying hard for a former manager of mine when I was in the Athletics organization, Webster Garrison. One of the best individuals you’ll ever meet in this game who brings joy to the yard every single day. Keep fighting this virus, Webby!”
“One of the nicest, funniest, most selfless guys I know,” A’s minor-league outfielder Greg Deichmann tweeted. “He always has a smile on his face and just wants to be around the field. This one really hits home, my man’s a fighter though!!!”