Texas Rangers’ Tony Beasley lives stone’s throw from Richmond

Fred Jeter | 11/22/2023, 6 p.m.
It may come as a surprise to area baseball fans that one of the Texas Rangers’ coaches resides just a ...
Tony Beasley

It may come as a surprise to area baseball fans that one of the Texas Rangers’ coaches resides just a half hour north of Richmond.

Tony Beasley, the World Series’ champion Rangers’ veteran third-base coach, lives in Ruther Glen in Caroline County and is back delivering his powerful tenor voice to the Jerusalem Baptist Church Choir.

Coach Beasley wears jersey No. 27 for, what is now, the best team in baseball.

“It’s been a blessing, something really special,” he said about Texas’ World Series crown. “We thought we had a good team coming out of spring training.

“We felt we could make the playoffs. But it turned out to be a lot more.”

The Rangers scored more than 1,000 runs during the regular season and playoffs combined, and Coach Beasley had the best view in the house for all of them, while waving them home.

A lot goes into coaching third base that the average fan might not consider. This was Coach Beasley’s eighth season in that capacity.

“You’ve got to know the outfielder’s arm strength – how hard they throw and how accurate; and you’ve got to know your own runners.

“Like, if someone has a sore hammy (hamstring), you take that into consideration in whether to hold them at third or send them home.”

During the four-tier playoffs, he questions just one of his decisions. In the opening round versus Tampa, he held catcher Jonah Heim at third with two outs when it seemed he might have a good chance of scoring. The next hitter failed to produce, leaving the Rangers temporarily off the scoreboard.

“The only time the fans notice the third base coach is if he messes up,” said Coach Beasley, with a laugh. “Third base coach is best off when no one notices him.”

The 56-year-old Coach Beasley also serves as the Rangers’ infield defensive coach. He’s qualified for the position, having played nine seasons and 854 games of minor league pro ball with Baltimore and Pittsburgh chains.

Before that, he sparkled at Carolina High, Louisburg, N.C., College and Liberty University, where he was the Flames’ MVP. While at Liberty, he played one game at The Diamond against VCU.

The Ranger hails from a baseball family, and a singing family.

Uncle Lew Beasley, now 75, born in Sparta, actually played 25 games for the Rangers in 1977 as an outfielder.

“We’re fishin’ buddies,” Tony said of his uncle.

In 2016, Tony Beasley was diagnosed with rectal cancer and missed an entire season of baseball.

Following a full recovery, he returned in 2017 with a performance that sent shivers down the spines of Rangers’ fans at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

His rendition of The National Anthem that night won’t soon be forgotten and is available online. It’ll knock your socks off. Primarily a gospel singer, Coach Beasley has sung with the Heavenly Bound Mass Choir, also with links online.

On the ballfield, Coach Beasley laments the lack of African-American players. The Rangers had just one — second baseman Marcus Semien.

“It’s mostly an affordability thing – it’s expensive to play on these travel teams,” he said. “And I don’t know if the parents are pushing it … it’s not a glory sport (on youth level) like basketball and football.”

The Rangers’ coach is a special man in many ways - wearing a baseball uniform, in a choir robe … and just being a warm-hearted person, above the call to duty.

Not many World Series champs would give a quick return call to an unknown reporter calling from a newspaper he had little familiarity with.

But Tony Beasley did.