Narron in 1981
|Catcher / Manager / Coach|
|Born: January 15, 1956|
Goldsboro, North Carolina
|April 13, 1979, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1987, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Runs batted in||96|
Jerry Austin Narron (born January 15, 1956) is an American professional baseball manager, coach, and former player. He most recently served as the bench coach for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB) during the 2020 season. Narron played in MLB, primarily as a catcher, for three teams during 1979-1987. He has served as manager for the Texas Rangers (2001-2002) and the Cincinnati Reds (2005-2007). He was the third base coach for Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Narron was born in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He is a Christian Zionist. His father John was employed as a salesman and floor layer for the Isaacs-Kahn Furniture Company in Goldsboro. He is a nephew of former major league catcher and longtime coach Sam Narron.
Through his childhood he played baseball at the Wayne County Boys Club. He attended Goldsboro High School, where he played baseball, basketball, and football, and graduated in 1974. He went to college at East Carolina University.
Narron played in the major leagues for eight seasons with the New York Yankees (1979), Seattle Mariners (1980-81, 1987), and California Angels (1983-86).
He was drafted out of high school by the New York Yankees in the sixth round of the 1974 Major League Baseball Draft. He played alongside brother Johnny for the Johnson City Cardinals in the Rookie Appalachian League during his first professional season in 1974, batting .301. In 1977, playing for the West Haven Yankees of the AA Eastern League, he batted .299 (8th best in the league) with 28 home runs (2nd in the league) and 93 RBIs (3rd in the league) in 438 at bats.
He made his major league debut on April 13, 1979. Narron played for the Yankees as the backup catcher to Thurman Munson, who died in a plane crash in August 1979. He was the Yankees' starting catcher the day after Munson's death, and remained in the dugout during the pregame ceremonies, leaving the catcher's position empty, out of respect for Munson.
He was released by the Mariners in March 1982, and signed two days later as a free agent by the California Angels, for whom he played. Playing for the Spokane Indians in the AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL) in 1982, he batted .311 in 408 at bats. In 1983, playing for the Edmonton Trappers of the PCL, he batted .301 with 27 home runs (4th in the league) and 102 RBIs (6th in the league) in 539 at bats, while leading the league with 15 intentional walks. He was released by the Angels in April 1987, and signed later that month by the Seattle Mariners, who in turn released him the following November. He retired as a player in 1989.
Narron was a manager in the Baltimore Orioles farm system from 1989 through 1992; of the Class A Frederick Keys (1989), AA Hagerstown Suns (1990-91), and AAA Rochester Red Wings (1992), with a record of 291-269 (.520). He was then hired as a coach for the Orioles by skipper Johnny Oates. After two seasons in Baltimore, he moved with Oates to the Texas Rangers.
Narron was third-base coach for the Rangers from 1995 until he was named interim manager on May 4, 2001, after the firing of manager Johnny Oates. He had the interim tag removed and managed the team during the 2002 season. He was replaced in Texas by Buck Showalter in December 2002.
Narron was named the Reds' interim manager on June 20, 2005. On September 29 of that year, his contract was extended to cover the 2006 season with a mutual option for 2007. Narron was fired as manager of the Reds on July 1, 2007. The Reds named advance scout Pete Mackanin as the interim manager. Narron's record with the Reds was 157-179.
On February 25, 2008, Narron was named a special assignments scout and front-office consultant with the Rangers.
After the first seven games of the 2017 season, Narron took over as interim bench coach of the major league Arizona Diamondbacks, when bench coach Ron Gardenhire left the team on a leave of absence to have and recover from prostate cancer surgery. Narron got the job permanently after Gardenhire was hired to be the Detroit Tigers' manager. Narron stepped down from his position as bench coach of the Diamondbacks following the 2019 season.
Narron was the third base coach for Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic qualifier. Narron, whose daughter Callie lives in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem, Israel, with her husband and two children, said: "I love the game, I love the Jewish people and I love Israel".
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Narron is married to Donna Narron. He has seven children, five of his own and two stepchildren. His son Connor was the fourth-ranked prospect for the high school class of 2010 by ESPN's Perfect Game. The Orioles selected Connor in the fifth round of the 2010 MLB draft; he played in Minor League Baseball during the 2010 to 2014 seasons. Narron's brother Johnny was the hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers from 2012 to 2014. Narron is the nephew of former major league catcher and coach Sam W. Narron and cousin of pitcher Sam F. Narron.