Oakland A’s minor league manager Webster Garrison has made progress in his battle against coronavirus. After being intubated for over three weeks, he was able to get off the ventilator Thursday morning and breathe on his own, according a tweet from his fiancee, Nikki Trudeaux.
Trudeaux specifies that Garrison had been on the ventilator for three weeks and a day, but that “he is now breathing 100% on his own and his oxygen saturation level is at 100%.” She notes that there’s still “a ways to go” in his recovery, but clearly this is progress.
Garrison tested positive for coronavirus in March. At that time, the A’s took precautionary steps by asking their other minor league players and staff to quarantine for two weeks, reported Susan Slusser of the S.F. Chronicle on March 28. The pandemic has since put the entire sport on lockdown, delaying Opening Day for months and threatening to wipe out the entire 2020 season.
The 54-year-old has spent over two decades as a coach in Oakland’s minor league system. As a player he enjoyed a lengthy career in the minors, and appeared in five MLB games for the 1996 A’s. He transitioned to coaching in the late-90s, and has since served as a manager at nearly every level of the system.
At various times he’s led the Low-A Vancouver Canadians, Single-A Kane County Cougars and Beloit Snappers, High-A Visalia Oaks and Stockton Ports, and Double-A Midland RockHounds. Most recently he skippered Stockton in 2019, and in 2020 he was slated to take the helm of one of the club’s Arizona Rookie League squads, a job he previously held in 2016-17. During his time in Midland, he also served as the hitting coach for three Texas League championship teams, in 2005, 2009, and 2014.
In addition to his wealth of experience, by all accounts Garrison is a universally beloved presence within the organization. Alex Coffey of The Athletic wrote a nice profile about the coach, including this quote from Garrison’s successor as Ports manager, former A’s shortstop Bobby Crosby:
“He’s not tough to figure out. When he walks in, he’s happy. When he walks in, he’s smiling. Guys want to play for a guy who cares about them. Every player wants to feel like they are cared about. And that’s what Webby has done.”
Athletics Nation is thrilled about this good news, and we wish the best for Garrison and his family as his recovery continues.