'More about him': Beasley joins All-Star trio

Gallo, third-base coach Beasley bonded while latter battled cancer

July 13th, 2021

DENVER -- When asked who would pitch to him in the 2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby, didn’t hesitate: “Beasley, of course. Why would you even ask?”

Rangers third-base coach Tony Beasley joined the Rangers' trio of All-Stars -- Gallo, and -- for the All-Star Game festivities. Gallo was adamant about Beasley getting the recognition he deserves for being part of his journey.

Beasley said it made him feel great that Gallo didn’t hesitate to choose him. In Gallo’s mind, there was only one choice. It was a no-brainer on Beasley’s end too, to be able to accompany Gallo to his first Derby appearance, which ended with Gallo dropping a 20-19 nail-biter to the Rockies' Trevor Story.

Beasley added it meant a lot to him to be part of something he’s never done before, hoping to assist in bringing Gallo a Home Run Derby title.

“With what he's been through and what he's overcome, it’s like, that’s the story,” Gallo said. “It should be more about him, honestly, than me. I want to give him some recognition.”

The story that Gallo is referencing is well known within the Rangers organization. In 2016, Beasley missed part of Spring Training and the entire regular season due to his battle with rectal cancer. He has been fully healthy and back with the team since January 2017. Gallo is one of few players on the current Rangers roster who was around during that time.

The bond that Gallo and Beasley, who also works with Rangers outfielders, have is a special one. That’s why the decision to bring Beasley with him was so simple.

“It just shows you a lot about who Joey is and the makeup of this kid,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward added. “His quote saying ‘It’s about [Beasley],’ that’s pretty remarkable. I know that meant a lot to Beasley. He is a special human. I always call him a saint. I feel like there's something about him that’s not from this world. I've never really been around a guy like that.”

Beasley has been known as a coach who bonds with his players. After 32 years in baseball, he says the most important thing to him, year in and year out, is the relationships he forges with the guys on the team.

“I'm interested in people and it’s not just baseball, it's just all walks of life I take,” Beasley said. “People are important to me. It's something that we used to say in this organization: ‘We value people over products.’ You have to value individuals. Everyone's important, everyone's somebody, and everyone has a story and something that's unique about them.”

Beasley has been with the organization for almost as long as Gallo -- who was selected in the first round of the 2012 MLB Draft -- and was one of the only holdovers from when Woodward took over as manager in 2019. When Beasley took over coaching the outfielders, he and Gallo leaned on each other.

The connection between the two goes back to that spring of 2016, when Beasley was diagnosed with cancer and Gallo was still a top-ranked prospect in the Rangers' system with only 36 big league appearances the previous season.

“[Gallo] mentioned back to 2016, when we spent time together in my chemotherapy,” Beasley said “He felt like that would be a good opportunity to shed light on cancer and what that meant with the battle. That was still fresh in his mind. That wasn't what I was thinking, but he's really serious about that avenue. That meant a lot to me, to know that’s where his heart was at.”

Beasley said it was a collaborative idea between himself, president of baseball operations John Daniels and then-manager Jeff Bannister for Gallo to go with Beasley to chemotherapy for a few days back in 2016.

Gallo was struggling in Spring Training at that time and they all decided it would be good for him to take a day away from the grind of baseball and join Beasley.

Gallo was happy, and almost eager, to go. He was up and engaged the entire time, gazing around the room with Beasley and others battling cancer.

“The fact that he brought that up made me realize that it did impact him tremendously, in a way in which he obviously never forgot,” Beasley said. “The intention of that day, I felt like it accomplished what I was hoping it would, as far as allowing him to see things from a different perspective, as far as life is concerned, and what's really important.

“The things we do on a daily basis, our jobs as baseball players -- 0-for-4 is not the end of the world. A tough stretch defensively is not the end of the world. There are bigger and more important things in life than us winning or losing the baseball game. From the conversation that he had recently with me, he recognized all of that that day.”