From Refugio to the Astros

Dan Firova joins the Houston Astros coaching staff

VICTORIA, Texas- Dan Firova, a Refugio native joined the Houston Astros team earlier this year as a quality control coach.

Back in his days at Refugio, Firova and his team won the regionals his sophomore, junior and senior years. In the 70’s they didn’t have any state tournaments for 2-a schools, so that’s as far as they could have gone. During his senior year he got to play in the Astrodome for the North vs South Texas All-Star Game.

Firova played in the majors for two seasons. He was actually drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 1980, a team that the Astros currently just had a three game series with. Firova joins Astros manager Dusty Baker yet again. They both were former staff members for the Washington Nationals. Baker served as the manager for the Nats and Firova was the bullpen coach for two seasons. Prior to that Firova spent almost two decades as a manager himself in the Mexican League, where he led them to three championships with the Mexico City Tigres.

“I had a lot of help the coaching staff and the players. We had good players, they did a great job. Very fortunate to be able to win three there. It’s just a great thing and it’s something you would never forget in your life,” said Firova.

Manager Dusty Baker went to Mexico in 2015 during an instructional league for some young Mexican League ball players, and that’s where Baker noticed Firova and asked the general manager if he can take Firova with him. Firova joined Bakers Nationals staff in 2016. From the moment Firova saw coaches and players wearing their World Series rings that became his goal to have one himself.

“They usually bring these commentators and ex-baseball players and they usually have these World Series rings on, and I would watch that and say that’s just bragging rights. How nice would it be to have one of those rings,” continued Firova.

He got hired as a quality control coach who helps the players with information, analytics and pitching tips.

Right now, Firova is mainly coaching first base. He studies the starting pitchers and relievers on the other team to give tips to his base runners to be aware if the pitcher is throwing over to first base so they won’t get picked off.

From a small town of Refugio and humble beginnings, Firova worked his way to the biggest stage, that goes to show that anything is possible.

Firova hopes to continue his career with the Astros and eventually get a World Series ring so he can show it to others.

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