Jim Leyland

A photo of Jim Leyland.

James Richard Leyland (born December 15, 1944 in Perrysburg, Ohio) is a Major League Baseball manager for the Detroit Tigers. He led the Florida Marlins to a World Series championship in 1997. With the Tigers' victory in the 2006 American League Championship Series, Leyland has become the seventh manager in history to win pennants in both the National and American Leagues. He is a 3-time Manager of the Year Award winner, twice in the National League (1990 and 1992), and once in the American League in 2006.

Leyland is notorious for his smoking habit (Marlboro Reds are his favorite), which he defends. Leyland is often known to smoke in the dugout during games. More recently, as smoking has been banned in many major league stadiums, he smokes on the clubhouse ramp between innings.[1] Starting with the 2007 season, the Tigers no longer stay at properties owned by Marriott International, as the company instituted a 100 percent smoke-free environment in all guest rooms and public areas of its hotels starting October 16, 2006.

Early careerEdit

Jim Leyland began his baseball career with the Tigers when they signed him as a catcher on September 21, 1963. He spent six seasons as a minor leaguer in the Tigers organization (1964–69) before serving as a coach with the Montgomery Rebels in 1970. *Leyland, a career .222 hitter in the minor leagues, recently quipped that he "could've been inside the Duquesne Light Company, and it wouldn't have made a difference" in regard to the impact that lighting quality between minor and major league stadiums can have on a batter. [citation needed]

Leyland then served as a coach for the Rocky Mount Leafs in the first half of the 1971 season before receiving his first managerial experience with the Bristol Tigers the same season. He managed for 11 seasons at the minor league level in the Tigers organization (1971–81), advancing to the postseason six times and claiming his respective league championship three times. Leyland was selected as the manager of the year in the Florida State League in both 1977 and 1978 and in the American Association in 1979.

Leyland left the Tigers organization for the first time in 1982 when he became Tony La Russa's third base coach for four seasons (1982–85) with the Chicago White Sox, including the team's 1983 AL West division title, before being named the 33rd manager in Pittsburgh Pirates history on November 20, 1985.

Pittsburgh PiratesEdit

He was the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1986 to 1996. He won two Manager of the Year trophies with the Pirates in 1990 and 1992, and developed such All-Stars as Barry Bonds, Jay Bell, Tim Wakefield, Andy Van Slyke and Bobby Bonilla in Pittsburgh before a fire sale in the mid-1990s soured him with new ownership. Under Leyland, the Pirates went to the National League Championship Series in three straight seasons (1990, 1991, and 1992). The Pirates lost all three of those NLCS series, however, with the latter two going the full seven games against the Atlanta Braves. Although he has moved on in his career, he still keeps his home in Pittsburgh,[2] where he met his wife Katy and has raised two children, Pat and Kelly. Both currently attend Bishop Canevin High School.

Florida Marlins and Colorado RockiesEdit

In 1997, he was hired by Wayne Huizenga to manage the Florida Marlins and promptly led them to the franchise's first championship. The Marlins, in only their fifth year of existence, became the second fastest expansion franchise to win a World Series (the Boston Americans, now known as the Red Sox, were a charter team in the expansion American League in 1901 and won the first World Series in 1903). The Arizona Diamondbacks surpassed the Marlins on this list when they won the World Series in 2001, their fourth season.

In the offseason, Huizenga dismantled the team in what became known as "the fire sale." After Game 7, when asked about rumors that he may retire if Huizenga sold the franchise, Leyland quipped, "My wife doesn't like me that much. I can't retire."[3] Leyland indeed remained as the manager, but resigned after a terrible 1998 season. At his press conference, Leyland remarked that he thought his job was to win championships, but that apparently wasn't what Huizenga wanted.[citation needed] Leyland was subsequently hired by the Colorado Rockies for the 1999 season.

When he left managing after the 1999 season, he became a Pittsburgh-based scout for the St. Louis Cardinals;[citation needed] he was often seen sitting in the stands at PNC Park with fellow ex-Pirates manager Chuck Tanner.[citation needed]

Detroit TigersEdit

In 2005, Leyland returned to the franchise with which he spent the first 18 years of his professional baseball career, managing in the AL for the first time. Following the release of Alan Trammell as the manager of the Tigers on October 3, 2005, Leyland was immediately named a top contender to replace him for the 2006 season.[citation needed] "It's well known that I interviewed with Philadelphia last winter, and I'd like to manage again," Leyland said in September 2005. He was announced as the new Tigers manager just one day later.

In the 2006 regular season, Leyland guided the Tigers to a 95-67 record, the Tigers' best season since 1987. The Tigers entered the playoffs as a wild card, and went on to defeat the New York Yankees and sweep the Oakland Athletics on their way to winning the American League pennant. Many people chose the Tigers to win the 2006 World Series[citation needed], although they ultimately lost to the St. Louis Cardinals. In leading the team to the AL pennant, he became the seventh manager to win pennants in both major leagues, joining Joe McCarthy, Yogi Berra, Alvin Dark, Sparky Anderson, Dick Williams, and Tony La Russa. After the 2006 season ended, Leyland was recognized with the Manager of the Year award for the third time in his career. He became the third person to win the award in both leagues, joining Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox. Leyland also won The Sporting News Manager of the Year Award for the American League in 2006. As of the end of the 2006 season, Leyland's career managerial record is 1164–1198, a .493 winning percentage.[citation needed]

On October 2, 2007, the Tigers extended Leyland's contract through the 2009 season.

Despite a disappointing 2008 season, Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski announced on September 24, 2008, that Leyland will be back for the 2009 season.[4]

On June 19, 2009, the Tigers extended Leyland's contract through the 2011 season.[5]

Managerial recordEdit

Team Year Regular Season Postseason
Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
Pittsburgh Pirates1986 6498.3956th in NL East - - -
1987 8082.4944th in NL East - - -
1988 8575.5312nd in NL East - - -
1989 7488.4575th in NL East - - -
1990 9567.5861st in NL East24.333Lost NLCS
1991 9864.6051st in NL East34.429Lost NLCS
1992 9666.5931st in NL East34.429Lost NLCS
1993 7587.4635th in NL East - - -
1994 5361.4653rd in NL Central - - -
1995 5886.4035th in NL Central - - -
1996 7389.4515th in NL Central - - -
PIT Total851863.496 812.4003 Post-Season Appearances
Florida Marlins1997 9270.5682nd in NL East 115.688 Won World Series.
1998 54108.3335th in NL East - - -
FLA Total146178.451 115.6881 Post-Season Appearance
Colorado Rockies1999 7290.4445th in NL West - - -
COL Total7290.444 - - -
Detroit Tigers2006 9567.5862nd in AL Central85.615Lost in World Series
2007 88 74 .543 2nd in AL Central
2008 7488.457 5th in AL Central
2009 3931.557 1st in AL Central
DET Total296260.532 85.615
Total1,3661,392.495 2722.551


Leyland, his wife Katie, and their two children, Patrick (born 10/11/1991), and Kellie (born 6/23/1993) reside in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during the off-season. His brother, Tom, is a Catholic priest and performed Jim and Katie's wedding ceremony in November, 1987.[6]

See alsoEdit

Notes Edit

External links Edit

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