Raines, a 7-time All-Star, joins Newark Bears as manager

NEWARK, N.J. -- Former major league All-Star Tim Raines has signed a two-year contract to manage the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League.

"I'm thrilled at the opportunity to manage the Newark Bears in the greatest sports region in the country," Raines said. "Newark is rich in baseball tradition, with legends like Yogi Berra, Monte Irvin and Rickey Henderson once calling the city home."

Raines joins the Bears from the Class AA Harrisburg Senators, where he was a hitting coach last season. Previously, he was a coach for the Chicago White Sox from 2004 to 2006, serving as first base coach during their 2005 World Series championship season.

Raines began his coaching career in 2003 as manager of the Brevard County Manatees, a Class A affiliate of the Expos.

A seven-time All-Star, Raines was one of baseball's top leadoff hitters and base stealers while playing for six teams from 1979 to 2002.

The switch-hitting outfielder hit .294 with 170 home runs, 2,605 hits, 808 stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .385. He won a batting title, and led the league in stolen bases three times and runs scored twice.

The Bears were sold to the California-based Bases Loaded group for $100,000 last week. The group agreed to assume $1 million in liabilities from its owner, developer Marc Berson.

"Tim brings years of experience as a player and coach," said Jim Wankmiller, president and CEO of the Bases Loaded Group. "His extraordinary knowledge, talent and enthusiasm for the game will continue the team's success as we enter a new era of Newark Bears baseball."