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Rangers draft paralyzed player


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Texas Rangers made the classiest gesture of the First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday by selecting Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor, who was left partially paralyzed by a collision during a game earlier this season.

The Rangers selected Taylor with the 1,014th overall pick in the 33rd round.

Taylor, a junior center fielder, was left partially paralyzed after a collision with left fielder Zach Cone during a game March 6 against Florida State.

Coincidentally, Texas also picked Cone with the 37th selection of the draft.

Taylor, 21, suffered injuries to the C5 and C6 vertebrae in his neck and has been confined to a wheelchair since the injury. But he has been making progress during rehab, regaining partial use of his hands and doing daily exercises to strengthen the muscles in his arms and hands.

His doctor at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta has said the majority of people with Taylor's injury never walk again. But Taylor told ESPN.com last month that his goal remains to walk and someday return to the diamond.

"That's my determination," Taylor said on May 14. "Right now, that's my goal -- to get back on the field and play baseball because that's what I care most about. But I'm not worrying about long-term. I'm thinking about right now and doing what I need to do."

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I have to admit, I am now a fan of the Rangers. Not a huge fan to where I hope they win a world series, but enough to appreciate what they are. First giving Josh Hamilton a second chance, and then drafting Johnathan Taylor. Very classy and I wish media outlets would cover this more. This is something you dont see happening in sports any longer.

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