Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch is making a special addition to his All-Star coaching staff for baseball's summer classic next month in Washington: Retired Astros first base coach Rich Dauer will be in uniform and assisting Hinch.
"Just like old times," Hinch said in Oakland, Calif., as the World Series champions opened a three-game series with the Athletics.
In November, Dauer was rushed to a hospital during Houston's downtown celebration of its first World Series title and he survived a difficult surgery on a blood clot in his brain. The neurosurgeon who performed the surgery, Dr. David Cech, told Dauer’s family he had a 3 percent chance of survival.
Dauer, 65, recovered and was back at Minute Maid Park on Opening Day against the Orioles, tearfully throwing out the ceremonial first pitch on a night when the Astros unveiled their World Series banner.
“The chances were really good that I would be either dead or not be able to function,” he said that day. “I can function now, so God has something for me.”
Dauer played for the Orioles from 1976 to 1985, winning a World Series with them in 1983. Six years ago, he became the 13th member of the 1983 championship team to be inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame.
He coached in the major leagues for 18 years, including 2015 to 2017 with the Astros. He coached for the Orioles in the minor leagues and was a managerial finalist in November 2003 when Lee Mazzilli was hired, but never coached in the majors for the Orioles.