John Russell (catcher)

John Russell (catcher)

John Russell
Russell with the Baltimore Orioles
Baltimore Orioles – No. 77
Catcher / Outfielder / Manager
Born: (1961-01-05) January 5, 1961
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 22, 1984 for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1993 for the Texas Rangers
Career statistics
Batting average .225
Home runs 34
Runs batted in 129
Games managed 485
Win–loss record 186–299
Winning % .384

As player

As manager

As coach

John William Russell (born January 5, 1961) is a former catcher and outfielder in Major League Baseball, and former manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played 10 seasons from 1984 to 1993 with the Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers, mostly as a platoon or reserve player. He is currently the bench coach for the Baltimore Orioles.


  • Playing career 1
  • Coaching career 2
    • Early positions 2.1
    • Pittsburgh Pirates manager 2.2
    • Baltimore Orioles coach 2.3
  • Personal life 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Playing career

Born in Oklahoma City, Russell grew up in Oklahoma, and played college baseball for the University of Oklahoma after being selected by the Montreal Expos in the 4th round of the 1979 MLB Draft. In 1982 he was selected by the Phillies as the 13th overall pick in the draft. He made his major league debut with the Phillies on June 22, 1984, and stayed with the team through the 1988 season. After spending most of his first two seasons as a backup left fielder, he was the team's principal catcher in 1986 due to Darren Daulton suffering a year-ending injury,[1] and batted .241 with 13 home runs and 60 runs batted in. It was the Phillies' only winning season in his five years with the team, but they finished a distant second place in the division behind division rival and eventual champion New York Mets. He saw very little playing time in the next two years. He spent 1989 with the Braves, who purchased his contract in spring training. When the Braves released him at the beginning of the 1990 season he moved on to the Rangers, for whom he played until his retirement in 1993. While with the Rangers he caught Nolan Ryan's 6th career no-hitter on June 11, 1990. He ended his career with a .225 batting average, 34 home runs and 129 RBI in 448 games.[2]

Coaching career

Early positions

Upon his retirement as a player, he became a Larry Bowa. Eventually he re-joined the Minnesota Twins as manager of the Edmonton Trappers. In 2002 Russell led Edmonton to a Pacific Coast League title, and was again honored by Baseball America, being named the best managerial prospect in the minors. The following year he was named the Pirates third-base coach, a job he held from 2003-2005. Russell was unpopular among some Pirates fans because of the frequency of runners he waved home that were thrown out at the plate. He was eventually fired, along with the rest of Lloyd McClendon's coaching staff, in 2005. After being fired Russell was named as manager of the Phillies AAA team, the Ottawa Lynx, a position he held through 2007.[3]

Pittsburgh Pirates manager

Prior to the 2007 season, Russell interviewed for the Texas Rangers managerial vacancy; the position ultimately went to longtime Oakland A's third-base coach Ron Washington. On November 5, 2007 he was introduced as the Pirates manager, replacing Jim Tracy.[3] In February 2009, the Pirates extended his contract through the 2010 season.[4] During the 2010 season, the Pirates announced that John Russell's contract had been extended through the 2011 season; though the extension occurred during the previous off season, the Pirates waited until June to announce the new contract, a move unpopular with many fans.[5] On October 4, 2010, Russell was fired as the Pirates manager after a 105 loss season and an overall record of 186-299.[6][7]

Baltimore Orioles coach

On November 13, 2010, Russell interviewed with Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter for one of several of the Orioles coaching vacancies, such as Bench coach, Third Base Coach, and catching instructor. On November 15, 2010, Russell was hired as the third base coach of the Baltimore Orioles. Due to ongoing knee issues, he traded coaching positions with Willie Randolph and became Bench Coach in June 2011.[8]

Personal life

Russell is married to wife Jamie. He has three sons: Stone, Brooks, & Steel, the latter whom plays for the Baltimore Orioles affiliate the Delmarva Shorebirds.[9]


  1. ^ James, Bill (1987). The Bill James Baseball Abstract 1987.  
  2. ^ John Russell Statistics -
  3. ^ a b "Sources: Russell to be named manager of Pirates". ESPN. November 3, 2007. 
  4. ^ Finder, Chuck (21 February 2009). "Pirates extend manager's contract". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 21 February 2009. 
  5. ^ "Pirates Quietly Gave Huntington, Russell Contract Extensions". The Pittsburgh Channel. 17 June 2010. Retrieved 19 September 2010. 
  6. ^ Robinson, Alan (October 4, 2010). "Pirates fire manager Russell after 3 bad seasons". Associated Press. Retrieved February 17, 2011. 
  7. ^ Langosch, Jenifer (October 4, 2010). "Russell relieved of duties as Pirates manager". Retrieved October 4, 2010. 
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • John Russell managerial career statistics at
  • Retrosheet
Preceded by
Ray Smith
Elizabethton Twins manager
Succeeded by
Jose Marzan
Preceded by
Al Newman
Fort Myers Miracle manager
Succeeded by
Mike Boulanger
Preceded by
Al Newman
New Britain Rock Cats manager
Succeeded by
Stan Cliburn
Preceded by
Garry Templeton
Edmonton Trappers manager
Succeeded by
Dave Huppert
Preceded by
Trent Jewett
Pittsburgh Pirates third base coach
Succeeded by
Jeff Cox
Preceded by
Gene Lamont
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons manager
Succeeded by
last manager
Preceded by
Dave Trembley
Ottawa Lynx manager
Succeeded by
last manager
Preceded by
Gary Allenson
Baltimore Orioles third base coach
Succeeded by
Willie Randolph