Coronavirus has A's Minor League Coach Webster Garrison Fighting for His Life

John Hickey

The COVID-19 coronavirus struck the Oakland A’s organization this week with the news that longtime A’s minor league manager and coach Webster Garrison is fighting for his life in a hospital in Louisiana.

The news was posted on Facebook by his fiancée, Nicki Trudeaux, who has herself tested positive for the coronavirus and is in quarantine.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the A’s believe that Garrison’s exposure to the coronavirus occurred after he left the A’s minor league complex on March 13, after the A’s and the rest of baseball shut down major and minor league operations as part of the battle against the pandemic.

The paper said that as soon as the A’s were made aware of Garrison’s diagnosis, they informed minor league personnel and players that a staff member had been exposed to the virus.

Writing on Facebook Trudeaux, who said she was “so overwhelmed with emotions right now,” asked for prayer.

“This man, my fiancé, Webster Garrison, the love of my life, is on a ventilator in the hospital fighting for his life,” she wrote. “And I can’t even be at his side! I’m asking pleading and begging you to life him up and the entire world up in prayer!”

She went on to say that at 10 p.m. each night family and friends are being asked to call out his name in prayer.

The 54-year-old Garrison got into five games (two starts) for the A’s in the first week of August, 1996, and went hitless in nine at-bats. A couple of years later he became a coach in the A’s system and he’s spent the last 22 seasons moving around the organization in a number of roles.

He was the manager of the Class-A California League Stockton Ports in 2019 and was due this season to manager one of Oakland’s rookie-league teams in Arizona. He’d also coached the Ports from 2011-13.

Louisiana has been one of the states hardest hit by the pandemic. As of midday Saturday, there had been 3,315 cases of the disease reported and 137 deaths. Garrison was one of 927 patients on ventilators struggling to breathe.

The A’s haven’t officially announced Garrison’s condition, saying only that a minor-league staff member had tested positive and was under hospital care.

The press release said the club is “following MLB suggested protocols, CDC guidelines and local public health recommendations for care.”

“During this pandemic,” the release read, “the health and safety of our players, employees, and community is our top priority. We are in this together and will get through this together.