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Atlanta Braves pitcher Grant Dayton got a special gift on Tuesday — the ability to see the full spectrum of color in the world.
The former Bob Jones High School and Auburn standout turned 33 years old on Wednesday, and he received a pair of EnChroma glasses from his wife, Cori, as a birthday surprise. The glasses correct color blindness.
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Dayton has known he was color blind for around a decade, seeing about 10 percent of colors. But he was skeptical about what he was missing.
“I don’t know how to describe being color blind, but this is way more vivid,” Dayton said on Tuesday. “I refused to believe I was color blind, but now I get it.”
After putting on the glasses, Dayton was jolted by the red of the laces on the baseball and lettering on his Braves jersey.
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“I’m not convinced that I couldn’t have been a hitter if I could have seen the laces and the spin better,” Dayton said. “I can’t believe a baseball really looks like that.”
“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.
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“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.
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“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.
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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.
During the shortened 2020 MLB regular season, Dayton made 18 appearances out of the Atlanta bullpen. The left-hander posted a 2-1 record with a 2.30 earned-run average in 27.1 innings. He struck out 32 and yielded 11 walks and 22 hits.
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After pitching his first two MLB seasons with the Dodgers, Dayton missed 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
In his MLB career, Dayton has a 3-4 record with a 3.02 ERA in 86 games, all in relief. In 89.1 innings, he has struck out 105 and yielded 33 walks and 67 hits.