Ryan Lavarnway: A Journey of Passion, Perseverance, and Purpose in Baseball (Part One)

Episode Information

Kathleen welcomes Ryan Lavarnway to the podcast. Ryan has spent over a decade playing professional baseball all over the world. He was part of the World Series-winning Boston Red Sox in 2013 and a member of the Israeli national baseball team at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In part one, Ryan shares why coaching younger athletes invigorate his love of the game and what business leaders can learn from sports.

About Ryan Lavarnway: Ryan is a professional baseball player who was originally drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 6th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft as a catcher. Since making his Major League Baseball debut on August 18, 2011, Ryan has played in parts of 10 Major League Baseball seasons. Ryan has also been a member of the Israeli national baseball team at multiple points in his career.

Ryan first played for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and was named Pool A MVP, after hitting .555 with a home run, 3 RBI’s, and 4 walks. Recently, Ryan rejoined Team Israel for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. During the Olympics, Ryan hit .350 and delivered a couple of clutch home runs in the group stage, including two home runs against South Korea on July 29, 2021.

During the baseball off season, Ryan resides in Denver, Colorado with his wife, Jamie, and their West Highland White Terrier, Tuck. Ryan and Jamie are proud members of the Jewish community and regularly attend synagogue. In his free time, Ryan likes to explore new restaurants and participate in Ironman competitions.

Ryan has always strived to be active in the communities he lives and works in. Over the years, Ryan has supported numerous nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver, Freedom Service Dogs and a wide range of youth sports organizations. Ryan has established partnerships with organizations such as Louisville Slugger and Force3, and invested in organizations such as Practice with the Pros and The Elite Catcher.

Ryan previously served as a guest lecturer for a class titled “Baseball as Philosophy” at Harvard University. In addition, he has been invited to speak at Yale Law School, Kent State University, Syracuse University, the Indianapolis Public School Leadership Summit and numerous Jewish community centers and Temples across the United States.