WASHINGTON - It has been several years since Washington played an inter-league series in Texas.
And when the series begins Friday, there will be a familiar face to long-time Nationals fans in the third-base coaching box for the Rangers
Tony Beasley, 55, a coach under Frank Robinson with the Nats in 2006, has been with the Rangers since 2015.
He first worked under former Texas manager Jeff Banister, a friend from their days in the minors with the Pirates, and now is on the staff for Texas skipper Chris Woodward.
Beasley was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia and went to Caroline County High. He was drafted out of Liberty University as an infielder by the Orioles in the 19th round in 1989.
Beasley played in the minors with the Orioles and Pirates from 1989-98, reaching the Triple-A level with Pittsburgh.
After his playing career, the Virginia native was in the Nationals’ system as a minor-league instructor from 2011-13. He was also a coach in the Pittsburgh system.
Beasley has overcome health challenges while with the Rangers.
“Beasley was diagnosed with rectal cancer at the start of spring training in 2016 and had to undergo chemotherapy,” according to baseballreference.com:
“He had successfully overcome a bout with bone cancer in high school and the Rangers were optimistic he would be able to return quickly. A couple of weeks later, they named Spike Owen as his replacement on an interim basis. In the end Beasley, missed the entire season although he was able to join the team for limited stretches. However, in a positive development, he was able to resume his coaching duties in 2017 after being declared cancer-free. He marked the occasion by singing the National Anthem on Opening Day, April 3rd.”
Beasley’s uncle, Lew, also grew up in Caroline County, was drafted by the Orioles and played in 25 games as an outfielder for Texas in 1977.
Dane Dunning (1-5, 4.38), a former minor league pitcher with the Nationals, is slated to start for the Rangers on Friday.
Dunning was traded to the White Sox along with Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez for outfielder Adam Eaton prior to the 2017 season.