Texas Rangers coach Tony Beasley received the best early Christmas gift imaginable.
Doctors at Houston’s MD Anderson gave him an all-clear Dec. 1 after he was diagnosed with rectal cancer in January.
Beasley underwent two rounds of extensive chemotherapy, for a month in Arizona during spring training and again in May and June in Houston.
Beasley, who turned 50 on Monday, has a follow-up visit with a doctor in Houston next week before flying home to Virginia for six weeks of rest and healing.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to get back and not have limitations and just be normal and do the things I’m passionate about doing.
Rangers coach Tony Beasley
For Beasley, a man of deep faith, 2016 was a blessing.
“I was in a scenario where my hands were tied,” he said. “There was nothing I could do but surrender to God and lay and leave it there so I just continued to let it go and walk by faith.”
Beasley remained upbeat and positive throughout his ordeal and whenever he was healthy enough, he’d join the Rangers in the dugout, although his regular duties as third base coach and infield instructor were handed over to Spike Owen.
“Seeing and being with the team was great therapy for me but it was tough to stay in the dugout and not be able to be at third base and as active as I would have liked to be,” he said. “But it makes you appreciate the things you can do once something is taken away from you. Sometimes you don’t fully appreciate the opportunity to just do basic things in life until you can’t do them.”
There was nothing I could do but surrender to God and lay and leave it there so I just continued to let it go and walk by faith.
Rangers coach Tony Beasley
Beasley will be back in Arlington for minicamp in January.
He expressed gratitude to the Rangers’ ownership, including Ray Davis and Neil Leibman, for seeing to it that he received top flight care and for the well-wishes from Rangers fans.
“Rangers Nation has been incredible. This is my second year as a Texas Ranger and people don’t necessarily know me personally but the way the fans have reached out and prayed for me with kind words and thoughts has been overwhelming,” he said. “It really meant a lot and helped me through.”
Beasley didn’t need a cancer scare for a better perspective on life, but he got one anyway.
“I know myself better now than I’ve ever known myself before,” he said. “The joy and peace I found not worrying about things. This was an opportunity to be who I said I am so I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to go through something to live it out. I’m really grateful. I don’t regret the year. It was a great year for me.”