BLUEFIELD, W.Va. -- The Bluefield Ridge Runners are proud to announce their new manager, Joe Oliver. Oliver joins the club as it anticipates a great year of baseball in the Appalachian League, sponsored by USA Baseball and powered by MLB.
“I am excited to be named the manager of the Bluefield Ridge Runners and to be a part of the new Appalachian League powered by Major League Baseball and USA Baseball,” Oliver said. “I value this unique opportunity to directly impact the lives of a group of talented athletes both on and off the field. Our coaching staff and I are committed to pulling from our collective baseball experiences to provide impactful developmental tools that these young men will carry with them as they work to become professional baseball players. I cannot wait to get started, and I look forward to bringing success to these players, the Appalachian League and the city of Bluefield.
Oliver comes to the Appalachian League following six years of managerial experience in the Boston Red Sox organization, where he recorded a 359-347 overall record. Oliver was named manager of the Lowell Spinners in 2014 before being tapped to lead the Salem Red Sox for the 2016-2018 seasons. He guided the team to two top-5 finishes in the Carolina League, including a first-place finish in his first year at the helm. Most recently, he was the manager of the Portland Sea Dogs in 2019 and was set to continue in that role in 2020 before the season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to his coaching career, Oliver spent parts of 13 seasons in the Major Leagues during a 19-year playing career. He was drafted in the second round of the 1983 MLB June Amateur Draft by the Cincinnati Reds, making his debut for the club in 1989 before helping the team win a World Series championship one year later with the game-winning hit in Game Two of the series. Throughout his career, Oliver collected a .247 batting average and .690 OPS while playing with seven MLB teams from 1989-2001.
For more on the new hire, listen to Oliver's introductory interview below: