Jim Leyland

From BR Bullpen

Jim Leyland.jpg

James Richard Leyland

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 2024

BR Manager page

Biographical Information[edit]

As Tigers's Manager in 2010

Jim Leyland has been a minor league catcher, a major league coach, and a major league manager whose teams won several division titles as well as the 1997 World Series and the 2006 American League pennant. He was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee on December 3, 2023, with his induction coming the following July.

Leyland was signed by the Detroit Tigers in September, 1963. He played in the minors from 1964 to 1969 in the Tigers chain, primarily as a catcher. Another future major league manager, Gene Lamont, was also a catcher in the Tigers organization and was on Leyland's team in 1966.

He was a coach for the Montgomery Rebels in 1970 and the Rocky Mount Leafs for the first part of 1971, before becoming a manager from 1971 to 1981.

He was a Chicago White Sox coach from 1982 to 1985 before taking over as the Pittsburgh Pirates manager in 1986. He led the team for eleven seasons and won three division titles.

He spent 1997 and 1998 as manager of the Florida Marlins, where he won the 1997 World Series. The Marlins sold off or traded all of their best players after their World Series triumph, and as a result became the first team to lose over 100 games the year after winning the Series. At the end of the season, Leyland quit in disgust over the front office's approach.

After managing the Colorado Rockies in 1999, Leyland felt that he did not have the fire necessary to manage at the major league level anymore and then spent the next six seasons as a St. Louis Cardinals scout.

Leyland was hired to be the 36th manager of the Detroit Tigers on October 4, 2005. He led the team to a surprise wild card berth and World Series appearance in 2006. In 2009, the Tigers were in first place for most of the season but were caught by the Minnesota Twins on the last day of the season. They then lost a dramatic one-game playoff with the Twins in extra innings and missed out on the postseason. Leyland led the Tigers to the first AL Central title in team history in 2011, and then to an upset win over the New York Yankees in the ALDS before falling in 6 games to the Texas Rangers in the ALCS. They repeated as AL Central champions in 2012 after a slow start, disposed of the Oakland A's in the ALDS and then swept the Yankees in the ALCS. However, the tables were turned in the World Series, as the San Francisco Giants in turn swept the Tigers, shutting them out in consecutive games in the process. In 2013 the Tigers won their third straight AL Central title and advanced to their third straight ALCS. This time the team fell to the Boston Red Sox in six games. After the loss in the playoffs Leyland announced he was stepping down as Tigers manager and would take another position with the team. He finished his Tigers tenure with a record of 700-597 with 4 playoff appearances and 2 American League pennants. His major league managing career ended with a 1769-1728 record in 22 years with 8 playoff appearances, 3 pennants and a World Series title. He is one of only a handful of managers to win the pennant in both major leagues.

He came out of retirement in 2017 to manage Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He said it would be his last time putting on a uniform, and he went out in a blaze of glory as he lead the United States to its first-ever triumph in the event, defeating Puerto Rico, 8-0, in the finals.

His son Patrick Leyland, a catcher, was drafted by the Tigers in 2010. Jim coached his son in spring training in 2011, as he was one of three young catchers from the organization invited to work out with the major league team.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 3-time Manager of the Year Award (1990/NL, 1992/NL & 2006/AL)
  • Division Titles: 6 (1990-1992 & 2011-2013)
  • Other post-season appearances: 2 (1997 & 2006 Wild Card)
  • NL Pennants: 1 (1997)
  • AL Pennants: 2 (2006 & 2012)
  • Managed one World Series Champion with the Florida Marlins in 1997
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 2024

Preceded by
Chuck Tanner
Pittsburgh Pirates Manager
Succeeded by
Gene Lamont
Preceded by
John Boles
Florida Marlins Manager
Succeeded by
John Boles
Preceded by
Don Baylor
Colorado Rockies Manager
Succeeded by
Buddy Bell
Preceded by
Alan Trammell
Detroit Tigers Manager
Succeeded by
Brad Ausmus

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1971 Bristol Tigers Appalachian League 31-35 7th Detroit Tigers
1972 Clinton Pilots Midwest League 49-77 9th Detroit Tigers
1973 Clinton Pilots Midwest League 73-51 1st Detroit Tigers Lost in 1st round
1974 Montgomery Rebels Southern League 61-76 7th Detroit Tigers
1975 Clinton Pilots Midwest League 67-61 4th Detroit Tigers
1976 Lakeland Tigers Florida State League 74-64 4th Detroit Tigers League Champs
1977 Lakeland Tigers Florida State League 85-53 1st Detroit Tigers League Champs
1978 Lakeland Tigers Florida State League 78-60 3rd Detroit Tigers Lost League Finals
1979 Evansville Triplets American Association 78-58 1st Detroit Tigers League Champs
1980 Evansville Triplets American Association 61-74 5th (t) Detroit Tigers
1981 Evansville Triplets American Association 73-63 3rd Detroit Tigers Lost in 1st round
1986 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 64-98 6th Pittsburgh Pirates
1987 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 80-82 4th Pittsburgh Pirates
1988 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 85-75 2nd Pittsburgh Pirates
1989 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 74-88 5th Pittsburgh Pirates
1990 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 95-67 1st Pittsburgh Pirates Lost NLCS
1991 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 98-64 1st Pittsburgh Pirates Lost NLCS
1992 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 96-66 1st Pittsburgh Pirates Lost NLCS
1993 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 75-87 5th Pittsburgh Pirates
1994 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 53-61 3rd Pittsburgh Pirates
1995 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 58-86 5th Pittsburgh Pirates
1996 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 73-89 5th Pittsburgh Pirates
1997 Florida Marlins National League 92-70 2nd Florida Marlins World Series Champs
1998 Florida Marlins National League 54-108 5th Florida Marlins
1999 Colorado Rockies National League 72-90 5th Colorado Rockies
2006 Detroit Tigers American League 95-67 2nd Detroit Tigers Lost World Series
2007 Detroit Tigers American League 88-74 2nd Detroit Tigers
2008 Detroit Tigers American League 74-88 5th Detroit Tigers
2009 Detroit Tigers American League 86-77 2nd Detroit Tigers
2010 Detroit Tigers American League 81-81 3rd Detroit Tigers
2011 Detroit Tigers American League 95-67 1st Detroit Tigers Lost ALCS
2012 Detroit Tigers American League 88-74 1st Detroit Tigers Lost World Series
2013 Detroit Tigers American League 93-69 1st Detroit Tigers Lost ALCS

Further Reading[edit]

  • Barry M. Bloom: "Leyland adds final line to Hall of Fame resume", mlb.com, March 23, 2017. [1]
  • Anthony Castrovince: "Leyland, postseason manager extraordinaire, elected to Hall", mlb.com, December 4, 2023. [2]
  • Bob Nightengale: "In final stand, Jim Leyland hopes to lead USA to World Baseball Classic title", USA Today Sports, March 7, 2017. [3]

Related Sites[edit]