Radison's "Personal Touch" A Difference Maker

Dan Radison joined the Thunder coaching staff mid-year after Brad Elwood was reassigned to Battle Creek. Radison, who spent last year managing the Gulf Coast Yankees to a 26-31 record, was a welcome and helpful addition to the Thunder coaching staff. <b>(Free Preview of Premium Content)

Radison, a baseball lifer himself, joined a coaching staff that was full of other baseball lifers. Radison and Thunder hitting coach Steve Braun were almost inseparable most days around the batting cage. Both Braun and Radison say that they almost never disagree on anything, especially when it comes to baseball. According to Thunder outfielder Mitch Jones, the tandem of Braun and Radison was a very helpful combination, saying that the two coaches were very helpful with the swing adjustments he was trying to make this year.

Radison was exposed to baseball from the time he was very young. According to Radison, his dad created a softball field in their backyard when they lived along the Mississippi River. He was an all-around athlete in high school but decided to go to Southern Illinois after being offered "a full ride on a baseball scholarship." This was a major factor in the decision for the well-known high school basketball player because "my parents wouldn't have to pay for college."

His first college coaching job was at Broward Community College where he also taught GED at the county jail to make ends meet. He then moved on to the University of Georgia as a hitting instructor after acquiring his Masters degree at night. After his tenure at the University of Georgia, he became the Mets rookie league manager. After many teams and organizations, Radison completed his 21st season in baseball with the Thunder this year.

"Anybody who's a teacher feels good when they see their student succeed. That's what it's all about," said Radison.

Radison also believes that over the course of his 21 years in the game, "it has become less about me and more about the players. It's been sort of a maturation process." Radison takes a sense of pride in seeing his players mature and improve and it seems as though he almost shares in their achievements and accomplishments.

Radison takes pride in his "day to day relationship with the players." He believes that this relationship is critical because of the nature of the game of baseball. "Baseball is a game where you have to be positive, happy, and upbeat. The game demands that." This attitude leads to the many relationships that Radison has cultivated in the game.

"I have survived on the relationships I have made in the game because it's a lonely life and to have a family wouldn't be fair." Jim Riggleman is described by Radison as his best friend in the game. The two met went they were in the minor leagues and Riggleman took Radison to the Major Leagues with him in the 1990‘s. The two became best friends and are still best friends to this day.

"There have been a lot of things that have brought me closer to God. I've learned how to be committed to God."

One of the biggest changes in Radison's life came in the vein of his spirituality. This closeness to God that he has acquired has let him become more patient with his players. It also has taught him how to learn how to trust God. This could also have helped him in his many relationships in the game.

Radison has seen a lot of baseball in his 21 years in the game and has learned what it takes to get players to the Major Leagues and even to the next level. He takes a great pride in helping his players advance and tries everyday to pass on a little more of his extensive baseball knowledge to the players who can use it to help them advance in their dreams.

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