Rand, Kevin (2007)
Kevin Rand has been participating in the national pastime since he was old enough to hold a ball. His initial success came in 1972, when he was a member of the Maine Little League championship team from Cape Elizabeth. Four years later Kevin was on hand for another state championship when the Cape Elizabeth High School baseball squad he was on won the Class B state title. The Capers repeated the feat the following spring.
Kevin went on to Bowdoin College, where met two future Maine Baseball Hall of Famers, Mike Linkovich, the team’s athletic trainer, and Carl “Stump” Merrill, a minor league manager in the New York Yankee organization who at the time also served as an assistant football coach for the Polar Bears. In 1981 Kevin won the Francis S. Dane award for his outstanding contributions to the Bowdoin baseball program. Armed with his Bowdoin diploma, athletic training experience gained under Linkovich, and a recommendation from Merrill, Kevin was chosen as head athletic trainer for the Fort Lauderdale Yankees of the Florida State League shortly after graduation. Kevin served seven seasons as athletic trainer for Yankee farm clubs in Fort Lauderdale, Albany, NY, and Columbus, OH before being named Yankees head minor league athletic trainer and rehabilitation supervisor in 1989. Kevin often worked year-round, serving as athletic trainer for teams in both the Venezuelan and Dominican Winter Leagues during his tenure with the Yankees.
Kevin got his chance to ply his trade in the big leagues in 1993, when he was hired as assistant athletic trainer for the Florida Marlins. Rand spent nine years with the Marlins, picking up a World Championship ring in 1997. In 2002 he moved to the Montreal Expos as an assistant athletic trainer, and the following year landed the job of head athletic trainer for the Detroit Tigers, a position he still holds. One of Kevin’s proudest moments took place in 2005, when he was the head athletic trainer for the American League all-stars for that year’s midsummer classic, which took place at Comerica Park in Detroit. 2006 was another big year for Rand. In addition to having his Tigers get to the World Series, Kevin and his staff were chosen as Major League Baseball’s athletic training staff of the year by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS).
Kevin’s father Leroy, a longtime coach and administrator of high school and American Legion baseball programs in Maine, is himself a member of the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame. Will there be a third generation Rand in the Hall of Fame someday? It’s possible; Kevin and his wife Tisa are the proud parents of four sons, Keegan (10), Kamden (9), Kallen (6), and Kashton (4).
“There was just a trainer when I first started,” said Dombrowski, who is in his 34th season of professional baseball. “You might have nine people doing what one person did before. It’s a huge responsibility and we’re fortunate to have Kevin because he does a great job.”