Former MLB coach tells his story of faith and baseball in Madison

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- Major League Baseball coach Rich Donnelly spent time in Madison Thursday to tell his story that is now the subject of the book "The Chicken Runs at Midnight," by Tom Friend.

Donnelly spoke to the Badger Basketball Team as wells as a Catholic group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The story dates back 20 years to when his daughter, Amy, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. During that spring after her diagnosis, his daughter jokingly asked if Donnelly tells the players when on base that "the chicken runs at midnight," which became a joke with the players and with the family.

"I was a third base coach, my job was to wave guys home. I felt in my life, my daughter Amy, my wife Roberta, my two daughters and all my other kids, being heroes the way they were, in a strange way have become my third base coach and waved me back to when I was most happiest in my life, back to when you're home," said Donnelly.

When Amy died, 'the chicken runs at midnight' was written on her tombstone.

Four years later, Donnelly was a third base coach for the Florida Marlins and they had reached a world series. The scoring run for the Marlins to win the World Series was exactly at midnight.