Ridge Runners bring McLaren aboard as 2023 manager


The Bluefield Ridge Runners announced that former Major League skipper John McLaren will manage the team in 2023.

McLaren began his professional career in the Appalachian League with the then-member club of Covington, Va. He played seven seasons in the Minor Leagues, reaching the Triple-A level, after being selected by the Houston Astros in the seventh round of the 1970 Draft. Following his retirement, McLaren joined the Blue Jays as a scout and spent eight years as a manager in the organization before serving as Toronto’s third base coach from 1986-90. He also served as the Boston Red Sox’s bullpen coach (1991), third base coach for the Cincinnati Reds (‘92), bullpen coach for the Tampa Bay Rays (2003-05) and catching/bullpen coach for the Philadelphia Phillies (2016-17).

After coaching for a decade in the Mariners’ organization, McLaren was named Seattle’s manager on July 1, 2007, replacing Mike Hargrove. He compiled a 68-88 overall record in the position and was 2-1 as the Washington Nationals’ interim manager in 2011. McLaren coached the Italian national team in the 2010 International Cup, leading his club to its first-ever Bronze medal. He also managed the Chinese national team in the 2013 and ‘17 World Baseball Classic as well as the 2015 Asian Championship. 

A Peoria, Ariz., native, McLaren attended Blinn Junior College, St. Thomas University and Houston Baptist after graduating from Westbury High School (TX). He has received the Lewis B. McAvery Award for outstanding contributions to professional baseball, the Neil Ridley Award for excellence in Knoxville & the Milo Hamilton Community, the Service Award from the RBI Foundation of Houston and was inducted into the Kinston Hall of Fame.