The Texas Rangers just hired Jeff Banister as the team’s next manager, this confirmed by a reputable source. For some, the move is somewhat a surprise considering Banister spent the last 29 seasons with the Pirates’ organization but to others, they feel the change was due.
During the interview process with the Rangers, Banister acknowledged that he was not going to manage in the Arizona Fall League. Jon Daniels, general manager for the Rangers, said prior to ending the regular season that he wanted a new manager by October, something he accomplished.
Throughout his 29-season career with the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, Banister spent the past five as the official bench coach. He held a number of other positions with the organization and spent eight years as the field coordinator for the franchise’s minor league.
However, the Houston native beat out the Rangers’ interim manager, Tim Bogar, for the position. Interestingly, Bogar was a standout favorite, when in early September he took over for Ron Washington, as was Kevin Cash who served as the bullpen coach for the Cleveland Indians.
Learning that he would not become the Ranger’s new manager, Bogar interviewed with Arizona Diamondback organization last week but lastMonday, the team announced it was hiring Chip Hale instead.
In 1994, Banister’s first job as manager was for the New York Penn League, Welland. The following season, he moved on to become a Class A manager in Augusta. Now, his has the opportunity to lend his unrivaled talent to the Rangers.
Banister is a highly respected individual both on and off the field, making him the perfect candidate. His dedication to the sport of baseball was proven when during his playing career, he developed and recovered from bone cancer and osteomyelitis, an infection of the bone or bone marrow.
Banister was also paralyzed temporarily after experiencing a collision at home plate while playing junior college baseball in his home state of Texas. Many people believe this move is not only good for Banister but will serve the Texas Rangers well.