MESA, Ariz. - He may be firmly entrenched with the A's now, but Ryon Healy doesn't forget his roots.
No one will wear a bigger smile Monday night than Healy, when the A's 2016 Double-A Midland squad will be honored with rings for winning last year's Texas League championship. The corner infielder spent just 36 games with the Rockhounds before being promoted to Triple-A and, by the All-Star break, to the majors. But getting reunited with his Midland teammates and receiving the honor means a lot to him.
"I texted the entire coaching staff and even the GM after they won, when I was in the big leagues, and just said, ‘Congratulations, don't forget about me though. I still want a ring,'" Healy said. "A lot of those guys are in the clubhouse today, and now a lot of them are good friends of mine."
It's a large group that will be honored at Hohokam Stadium before the A's host the Arizona Diamondbacks. There are players currently in major league camp, such as Healy and third baseman Matt Chapman. Many others are being invited over from minor league camp for the ceremony. That includes infielder Franklin Barreto, starting pitcher Daniel Gossett and outfielder Danny Oh, who is actually in uniform for Oakland on Monday night as an extra providing depth on the bench.
"I'm proud of all the guys, and we played for a great manager and coaching staff," said Oh, who played collegiately at Cal. "For me, it's going to be my first professional ring, so it's going to be pretty special for me. Just to do it with the guys I played with all year, it's just a special thing for us. It's gonna be a good night."
A's manager Bob Melvin does not downplay what Midland has accomplished. The Rockhounds have won three titles in a row, with Ryan Christenson managing the past two. Christenson was promoted to manage Triple-A Nashville this season.
"Three years in a row, that's pretty good," Melvin said. "We'll be out here for that. They should be excited about it, as are we. They know that our organization celebrates the guys that have won, and not only do we look at it at the big league level, but certainly in development. We've had a lot of winning here recently, and those are guys we're expecting to be in the big leagues soon as well."