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Ryan Lavarnway

Ryan Lavarnway

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (AAA) affiliate of the New York Yankees
Full Name Ryan Cole Lavarnway
Nicknames Elway, Varney
Date of Birth 08/07/1987
BirthplaceWoodland Hills, CA
Religion Jewish
Height 6'4
Weight 225
Bats/Throws R/R
College Yale University
Drafted Red Sox
Draft Round6
Overall Pick202
MLB Debut 08/18/2011


Career highlights (through 2014)

  • Selected in the 6th round (202nd overall) of the 2008 amateur draft by the Boston Red Sox, the same round the Mets chose Josh Satin
  • Went 0/4 with 1 strikeout in MLB debut with the Boston Red Sox, a 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals (8/182011)
  • First 2 MLB home runs came in a single game, an 8-7 win over the Baltimore Orioles (9/27/2011)
  • Starred with Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic

MLB career bests, by statistic

  • AVG: .299 (2013)
  • 2B: 8 (2012)
  • 3B: (none)
  • HR: 2 (2011, 2012)
  • RBI: 14 (2013)
  • BB: 11 (2012)
  • OBP: .329 (2013)
  • SLG: .429 (2013)
  • OPS: .758 (2013)
  • SB: (none)
  • Intentional walks: (none)
  • Wins Above Replacement, via 0.5 (2011)
  • At bats per home run: 19.5 (2011)

2013 highlights

  • One of eight Red Sox players to homer in a 20-4 win over the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park, tying a team record for HRs in one game (9/6/2013)
  • Hit .350 after the All-Star break
  • Hit .346 with runners in scoring position
  • From goat to great: in the first inning of a 15-10 win over the Houston Astros, Lavarnway tied an MLB record by giving up 4 passed balls from knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, but he later threw out an attempted base-stealer at third base, and then drew cheers when he hit a two-run, go-ahead double in the 5th inning (8/6/2013)

2011 highlights

  • Named Minor-League Player of the Year by Jewish Baseball News (2011)
  • Hit first 2 MLB home runs in one game, an 8-7 win over the Baltimore Orioles (9/27/11)
  • In 8 games as catcher for the Boston Red Sox, made no errors and threw out the only runner to attempt a stolen base
  • Played for the Red Sox’s AA and AAA minor-league teams, where he hit a combined .290 with 32 HRs, 93 RBIs, and a .376 on-base percentage in just 116 games.

On being Jewish

  • “Growing up in an interfaith family in Southern California, Lavarnway didn’t always have such a strongly documented connection to his Jewish faith. ‘My dad is a disenchanted Catholic; my mom is a Jew that loves Christmas,’ said Lavarnway, who has played for the Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Atlanta Braves and Oakland Athletics. ‘So we celebrated holidays for Hallmark purposes, basically — Christmas and Hanukkah, Easter and Passover.’ While Lavarnway had plenty of Jewish teammates and friends as a kid, he didn’t have a bar mitzvah ceremony or attend synagogue, but he felt a pull to Judaism. ‘In high school, I started going to temple with my friend’s mom who had [multiple sclerosis],’ Lavarnway said. ‘She needed someone to drive her, and I was looking for an excuse to go.’ Meeting his wife, Jamie, who is Jewish and whose cousin is in the Israel Defense Forces, deepened that attachment. The couple had a Jewish wedding, joined a synagogue in Denver, and hung mezuzahs (a small prayer scroll inside a decorative case) on the door frames in their home.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; March 10, 2018)

For more information


Career Batting

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