TACOMA, WA – John Russell, a former MLB catcher/outfielder and field manager, has been named Tacoma Rainiers manager for 2023 by the Seattle Mariners. Russell, 62, becomes the 12th skipper of the club in the “Rainiers” era and Seattle affiliation (since 1995), and brings a wealth of experience at the highest levels to the position. The upcoming season will be Russell’s first with the Mariners organization. The 2023 home opener at Cheney Stadium is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4 at 6:05 p.m. PT. Individual tickets for all 2023 home games will go on sale Wednesday, February 15 at 10 a.m., at TacomaRainiers.com.
Russell was most recently baseball technical director at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL (since 2019). His professional coaching resume includes bench coach of the Baltimore Orioles (2011-18), and he managed the Pittsburgh Pirates for three seasons (2008-10). During his time in Baltimore, he helped the Orioles to three postseason appearances, including advancing to the 2014 American League Championship Series. Russell’s first stint in Pittsburgh and on a MLB staff was from 2003-05, as Pittsburgh’s third base coach. He’s managed 10 minor league seasons dating to 1995, in the Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies organizations.
2023 will be Russell’s return to both a Triple-A dugout and the Pacific Coast League. In 2001 and 2002 he led the Edmonton Trappers (Minnesota), and skippered the ’02 club to an 81-59 regular season record and the PCL Championship. He led Philadelphia Triple-A affiliates in the International League in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and then Ottawa from 2006-07; his ’06 SWB club qualified for the postseason with an 84-58 record.
As a player, Russell was a professional from 1982 through 1994, appearing in 10 Major League seasons with Philadelphia (1984-88), Atlanta (1989) and Texas (1990-93). A veteran of nearly 1,000 professional games played, Russell appeared in a MLB career-high 93 games for the 1986 Phillies (13 HR, 60 RBI). He was Philadelphia’s first round draft pick in 1982 (13th overall), following three seasons at the University of Oklahoma. On June 11, 1990, Russell caught Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan’s sixth career no-hitter, as the Texas Rangers won 5-0 in Oakland.
Born in Oklahoma City and a native of Norman, OK, Russell will make his Rainiers debut while managing in his home state. Tacoma opens the 2023 season at the OKC Dodgers on Friday, March…