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Jim Landis

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James Henry Landis

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[edit] Biographical Information

Eighteen year old Jim Landis was signed by the Chicago White Sox before the 1952 season. The outfielder was assigned to the Wisconsin Rapids White Sox of the Wisconsin State League and hit .274 in 92 games his first year out. 1953 would see Landis with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in the class A Western League where he hit .313 with 14 home runs in 128 games. Landis would spend the next two years (1954-55) in the United States Military Service.

The now 22 year old would arrive back for the 1956 season and would play for both the Colorado Springs club again (13 games) and spend the biggest part of the season with the Memphis Chickasaws of the Southern Association (92 games) and hit for a combined .282 average with 6 homers. 1957 would be his last year ever in the minor leagues, splitting another season, playing 37 games with the Indianapolis Indians of the American Association, hitting .246 and suiting up with the major league Chicago White Sox for the remainder of the year, appearing in 96 games and carrying a .212 average.

One of the greatest defensive outfielders in big league history, Jim was a fixture in center field for the White Sox from 1957 to 1964, The five time Gold Glove winner was an integral part of Chicago's 1959 American league pennant winning team hitting .272 with 20 stolen bases for the Go-Go White Sox. He then hit .292 (7-24) in the World Series including 3-for-4 in the 11-0 victory over the Dodgers in the opening game. In game three Landis made a great catch on a fly ball by Jim Gilliam. In the fifth game he got a key hit that moved Nellie Fox to third, where he scored on a ground out to give the Sox a 1-0 win over Sandy Koufax an take the Series to Chicago. Unfortunately for Landis and the White Sox the Dodgers would win game six and the series, 4 games to 2.

Landis would be with the White Sox for eight seasons (1957-64) and have his best year at the plate in 1961 when he hit .283 with 22 homers and 85 RBIs, all career highs. On January 20, 1965 the White Sox would trade Jim to the Athletics and after a so-so season the Athletics would trade him to the Indians in 1966 where he hit .222 in 85 games. 1967 would be Jim's last year in pro baseball, Cleveland would trade him to the Houston Astros in 1967 who passed him on to the Detroit Tigers they in turn released him and he signed as a free agent with the Red Sox and on August 27, 1967 the ball game was over when the Red Sox gave him his unconditional release.

Landis, whose .989 fielding percentage ranked second all time to Jimmy Piersall, when he retired, closed out his eleven year major league run with a .247 batting average and 93 home runs. Jim's four seasons in the minors produced a .288 batting average with 27 homers. After his 15 active years in baseball (1952-67) Landis returned to Roseville, California, where he has been the owner of a company that designs and produces signs ad posters for use by businesses in promoting safety and protection from industrial accidents. Jim Landis has a son, Craig Landis, who is a player agent with clients including Paul Konerko.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • AL All-Star (1962)
  • 5-time AL Gold Glove Winner (1960/CF & 1961-1964/OF)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1961)

[edit] Sources

Baseball Players of the 1950s
BR Minors Page

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