OAKLAND -- Longtime A’s Minor League manager and coach Webster Garrison has tested positive for COVID-19 and is under hospital care in his home state of Louisiana.
Garrison’s fiancée, Nikki Trudeaux, said in a post on social media that she has also tested positive for COVID-19 and is unable to be by his side. Garrison is on a ventilator as he battles the virus.
“This man, my fiancé, Webster Garrison, the love of my life, is on a ventilator in the hospital fighting for his life,” Trudeaux wrote. “I am asking, pleading and begging you to help lift him and the entire world up in prayer.”
The A’s released a statement acknowledging that a Minor League staff member has tested positive for the virus:
“We want to extend our sincerest thoughts and prayers to our colleague for a speedy recovery. We are committed to providing him and his family with support and care. Every person on our team plays a critical role to our success and we look forward to his return to the field when he is healthy.
“During this pandemic, 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. We are following MLB suggested protocols, CDC guidelines, and local public health recommendations for care. Finally, out of respect for this individual's privacy, at this time, we will not comment further regarding his situation.”
The A’s believe Garrison’s exposure occurred after he left the club’s Minor League camp on March 13, according to The San Francisco Chronicle. Most A's players have already departed Mesa, Ariz., with the exception of players who are in need of medical care or unable to return home.
Garrison, 54, most recently managed the A’s Class A Advanced affiliate Stockton Ports in 2019. He is expected to manage one of the club’s Arizona Fall League teams for the 2020 season as he enters his 22nd year as a coach or manager with the organization.
A’s Minor Leaguers took to social media to send out their thoughts and prayers for the coach, including the club’s 2017 first-round pick Austin Beck, who has played under Garrison through his first three Minor League seasons.
"This is horrible,” Beck said in a Tweet. “One of the most down-to-earth guys I’ve ever met, such a legend to the baseball community, praying for you Webby!”
Selected as an infielder by the Blue Jays in the second round of the 1983 Draft, Garrison played the only five Major League games of his career with the A’s in 1996, appearing at first and second base.