Blog Entry

Rangers, Astros draft paralyzed players

Posted on: June 8, 2011 5:38 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 8:32 pm
Johnathan Taylor

By C. Trent Rosecrans

It's cliché to talk about draft day and dreams coming true and all that, but even the most jaded of sports fans have to appreciate what the Texas Rangers did on Wednesday by selecting University of Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor.

Taylor will never play for the Rangers, but his family, friends and University of Georgia fans will forever be grateful for the kindness shown by the Rangers on Wednesday when the team selected him in the 33rd round of the MLB Draft.

Johnathan TaylorTaylor hit .312 in 117 career games at Georgia, but in a game on March 6 he collided with teammate Zach Cone in the outfield and suffered a broken neck. He had neck surgery the next day to stabilize his spine. Taylor is currently confined to a wheelchair and isn't expected to walk again but has progressed in his physical therapy to the point where he's in an outpatient program at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

"We're all very proud of him," his mother, Tandra Taylor said, according to a release by UGA. "It's just amazing, and when he got the call, his face lit up, and we were all very excited. It was awesome news."

The Rangers took Cone in the supplemental part of the first round on Monday night, 37th overall. Cone, along with teammates Levi Hyams and Peter Verdin, took turns wearing Taylor's No. 2 jersey during games this season. (Taylor is pictured above in the middle, with Cone on the right.)

"I was pumped up when the Rangers told me they were thinking about drafting J.T., and then I got a call saying that they had drafted him," Cone said. "I was already planning on going over to see him and now we can talk about the Rangers. This made my day, it's just awesome, and I'm so happy for him."

Buddy LamotheIt's a great move by the Rangers, costing them little. It also appeared to set a trend in Texas, as the Astros drafted San Jacinto College reliever Buddy Lamothe in the 40th round, according to the Houston Chronicle. Lamothe was paralyzed in a recreational accident last month. Lamothe had an 0.86 ERA this season before the accident.

The Rangers first made contact with Taylor last month when the Rangers visited Cone in Georgia and the team gave Cone a Rangers jersey signed by the entire team to give to Taylor.

"We thought selecting Johnathan was the right thing to do," Rangers director of amateur scouting Kip Fagg in a statement released by the team. "We would have drafted him either way, regardless of any other circumstances involving his injury or Zach's draft status. Our area scout in Georgia, Ryan Coe, has had a relationship with Johnathan since he was a high school player. The club has always liked his passion and ability as a player."

Kudos to both the Rangers and Astros for showing hearts the size of Texas.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 2:10 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 1:16 am

Rangers, Astros draft paralyzed players

Involved time for them to have a look at each and every suggestions, even so most definitely liked this great article. It then turned out to be Extra important to anyone for likely to the whole set of commenters on this site

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 10:03 pm

Rangers, Astros draft paralyzed players

Great this one txt. You can locate certainly directives inside below this Cover apply.

Since: May 30, 2011
Posted on: June 9, 2011 8:40 pm

Rangers, Astros draft paralyzed players

Great to hear some positive news from the world of sports.  Hats off to both of these teams.

Since: Jun 9, 2011
Posted on: June 9, 2011 6:35 pm

Rangers, Astros draft paralyzed players

The fact that you even thought this makes you a moron!  I am sure that he will fit in very well with the Astros!  He is an incredible athlete and an amazing person.  Even if he never gets to play a day of professional ball, he has already accomplished A LOT in his life.  He could teach you a thing or two about courage, compassion, strength and sportsmanship, among many other things. 

The choices made by both teams to draft these young men, are commendable.  And for the fools who don't think that these draft picks are not helping their teams...think again!  The strength, spirit and expertise of these young men will prove to be invaluable for both teams.  

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: June 9, 2011 6:16 pm

Rangers, Astros draft paralyzed players

That was an extremely classy act by both organizations in Texas. Compassion at its best for a tragic event in those mens' lives.

Since: Jul 30, 2009
Posted on: June 9, 2011 3:17 pm

Rangers, Astros draft paralyzed players

Class act from the Rangers and Astros.  I'm sure this was a huge lift for both these kids.

Since: Dec 23, 2007
Posted on: June 9, 2011 2:30 pm

Rangers, Astros draft paralyzed players

Nice nice very nice... baseball sometimes shows its class. this is one such time...


Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: June 9, 2011 1:45 pm

Rangers, Astros draft paralyzed players

Just as a baseball fan in general, I'm amazed by this story. Obviously two organizations with a lot of class. Most teams would be too worried about who they could get to help their team to do something like this. Moves like that will go a long way for your organization and fan support.

Since: May 8, 2011
Posted on: June 9, 2011 1:29 pm

Rangers, Astros draft paralyzed players

scottcmu your an A$$! there's a time and place for that crap and this is neither...Congratulations to Johnathan and Buddy....Rangers and Astros your awesome...

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