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Grant Dayton wears his new EnChroma glasses while with his wife, Cori, and their two children. Dayton of the Atlanta Braves was presented the specially made glasses on his 33rd birthday, which will allow him to see colors. Photo Contributed

Atlanta Braves’ Grant Dayton Receives Birthday Gift Of Color

WINTER HAVEN, FLA.- Grant Dayton has received an early Christmas gift. The current relief pitcher for the Atlanta Braves and former star player for the Bob Jones Patriots was presented with a special pair of glasses that has enabled him to see correct color for the first time in his life.

“I didn’t know what I’ve been missing all my life as now I see vibrant colors, especially the color red, that scream at me,” said Dayton.

On what was his 33rd birthday, Dayton was presented the special EnChroma glasses designed for color blindness by his wife, Cori, and his sons Decker, who will turn three on Dec. 16, and Nolan, 11 months. Cori had arranged for a local news crews to drop by at a local baseball field near their home in Winter Haven, Fla. to see Dayton receive his surprise birthday present and try on the glasses. Once he was given the special gift he was almost speechless.

“Oh, my gosh. I was afraid these wouldn’t work,” exclaimed Dayton upon seeing the world around him in a much different manner than ever before. “I encourage others to check on the company’s website and take their color blind test. For me, the color red changed the most as before it looked similar to what most see as brown. I now understand why traffic signals and signs and emergency vehicles are red as the color stands out.”

Cori had seen the glasses on the internet and saw how expensive the devices are priced. She reached out to the company and explained to them Dayton’s dilemma. The parent company that manufactures the EnChroma decided to send the glasses in exchange for some publicity. The experience was not only breathtaking for the entire Dayton family, a goldmine publicity for the business, but a change in the way of life for Dayton himself.

“I didn’t know until I was in my 20’s that I was color blind as it was hard for me to believe,” said Dayton. “Growing up the only trouble I really had was when I went fishing or hunting as the wildlife would blend in with the surrounding nature. I thought it was normal.”

Signed to Auburn University out of Bob Jones, Dayton was selected in round 11 of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft by the Florida Marlins. He was later signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers and made his Major League debut on July 22, 2016 when he retired six of his seven batters faced, with two strikeouts against the St. Louis Cardinals.

He later underwent the very invasive and complex “Tommy John Surgery” to repair elbow damage in his throwing arm and missed a good part of the 2017 season and all of 2018. The left-handed pitcher was picked up off waivers by the Atlanta Braves in 2019 and remains with the National League team today.

The just completed 2020 season, he pitched in 18 games with a 2-1 record and a 2.30 earned-run average. In the post-season playoffs, the Braves rolled through the first rounds winning five and losing none. Advancing to the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers, the Braves were up three games to one, but fell apart as the Dodgers took the series 4-3 advancing to the World Series, which they eventually won.

“It was a disappointing end of the season, especially being up 3-1 on the Dodgers, but we knew we had a good team going into the COVID-19 shortened season,” said Dayton. “It was a good year for me as I learned a lot about me. It was a productive year.”

While enjoying his new colorful world, Dayton awaits to see if he will be obtained for the 2021 season by the Braves or become a free agent. He said he loves the Braves and hopes to remain with the team.

“For one of our first dates, he showed up wearing dark green pants and a navy blue/white plaid shirt,” said Cori. “I commented that it was an interesting choice of color combination. He looked at me puzzled and said, ‘my pants are navy blue.’ He explained his was color blind, but he never wore that outfit again. Also, he can’t see a sunburn unless it’s really bad.”

The gift of sight is certainly a special part of the body’s seven senses. To have the overlay of color to go along with eyesight is something most take for granted, but for Dayton, who only sees about 10-percent of colors, today is a bright new world no matter if he remains with the Braves. At least he’s now able to see the true colors of his Braves uniform or the school colors of his Auburn Tigers, which before his new specs were brown or tan.

The EnChroma glasses come in both indoor and outdoor versions, which Dayton has. He added, “It’s a different world out there and I encourage others to check out the new world. For me, it’s been awesome.”

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