Pirates hire Russell as coach

By John Perrotto
November 1, 2002

PITTSBURGH–John Russell will not repeat as Baseball America’s Minor League Manager of the Year in 2003.

The Pirates hired Russell as their third base coach and catching instructor. He led the Twins’ Triple-A Edmonton farm club to the Pacific Coast League title this year after the Trappers finished 81-59 in the regular season.

Russell, 41, was also ranked the best managerial prospect in the PCL in Baseball America’s annual tools survey this year.

“We are extremely pleased to add John to our staff, because he has a great reputation within the industry,” Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield said. “He’s done a fine job in the minor leagues as a manager and has a lot of experience as a player in the major leagues. He is going to be a fine addition to our staff, and we feel he will be outstanding third base coach after performing that role for eight seasons as a minor league manager.”

Russell spent eight years as a minor league manager with the Minnesota organization, going 527-521. In addition to winning the PCL this year, Russell led Double-A New Britain to the Eastern League championship in 1998.