Former Cincinnati Reds catcher Joe Oliver has been brought in to manage the Lowell Spinners, according to a release by the team. Oliver will serve as the team’s 11th manager in their history, replacing Bruce Crabbe who’s joined the coaching staff in Pawtucket.
Oliver played in the Major Leagues for 12 seasons, including the first 8 in Cincinnati. He was a career .247/.299/.391 hitter with 102 HR in just over 1,000 games behind the plate. The now 48 year old was a part of the Reds’ World Series winning team in 1990, delivering a game winning hit in Game 2 against then Oakland A’s closer Dennis Eckersley. He’d also spend time with the Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates, and New York Yankees.
Oliver spent some brief time with the Boston Red Sox at the tail end of that career, signing with the team as a free agent in July 2001 and appearing in just five games. He’d go 3 for 12 with a double.
Oliver, to his credit, sounds excited for the challenge of his official managing position since retiring.
It’s been an experience being away from the game, raising my family, but I promised my wife I’d step away and help after retirement. I’m very excited and appreciative to return to the game and begin this chapter, especially with Lowell.