Jim Leyland
Leyland with the Detroit Tigers in 2013
Born: (1944-12-15) December 15, 1944 (age 79)
Perrysburg, Ohio, U.S.
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB statistics
Games managed3,499
Managerial record1,769–1,728
Winning %.506
As manager

As coach

Career highlights and awards
Incoming Member of the National
Baseball Hall of Fame
Election methodContemporary Baseball Era Committee
Men's baseball
Manager for  United States
World Baseball Classic
Gold medal – first place 2017 Los Angeles Team

James Richard Leyland (born December 15, 1944) is an American former professional baseball player, coach and manager. He serves as a special assistant to the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Leyland led the Florida Marlins to the 1997 World Series championship over the Cleveland Indians, and previously won three straight division titles (1990, 1991, and 1992) with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is one of eleven managers to lead three different teams to the postseason.[1] With the Tigers' victory in the 2006 American League Championship Series, Leyland became the seventh manager in history to win pennants in both the National and American Leagues.

Leyland is a three-time Manager of the Year Award winner, twice in the National League (1990 and 1992), and once in the American League (2006). He managed the United States national team at the 2017 World Baseball Classic, leading the team to its first gold medal finish. On December 3, 2023, Leyland was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Early life

James Richard Leyland was born on December 15, 1944, in Perrysburg, Ohio. Leyland graduated from Perrysburg High School in Perrysburg, Ohio, in 1962, where he excelled in baseball.

Professional career

Minor leagues

Leyland began his baseball career with the Detroit Tigers when they signed him as a catcher on September 21, 1963. He spent seven seasons as a minor leaguer in the Tigers organization (1964–1970), but mainly served as a coach with the Montgomery Rebels in 1970 while playing in just two games for the team. Leyland was a career .222 hitter in the minor leagues.

Coaching career

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.

Managerial career

Minor leagues

In 1972, Leyland became a minor league manager in the Tigers organization; beginning with the Clinton Pilots of the Midwest League; from 1979 to 1981, he was the manager of the Evansville Triplets winning two divisions (1979, 1981) in the American Association.

Pittsburgh Pirates (1986–1996)

On November 20, 1985, Leyland was named the 33rd manager in Pittsburgh Pirates history. Leyland 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 finished as runner-up in 1988 and 1991. Leyland helped develop 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 captured the National League Eastern Division title and went to the National League Championship Series in three straight seasons (1990, 1991, and 1992). Pittsburgh averaged 96 regular season victories those three years, but lost all three times in the NLCS with the latter two going the full seven games against the Atlanta Braves. The Pirates lost to the Cincinnati Reds (four games to two) in the 1990 NLCS.

Leyland quit after 11 seasons spent with the Pirates in order to manage a contender despite a contract that ran to 2000 with a salary of $1 million, stating that it was not a tough decision but a sad one, noting his dissatisfaction with owner Kevin McClatchy on trades and salary cutting.[2]

One member of Leyland's coaching staff while with the Pirates, Terry Collins, who was most recently the manager of the New York Mets, wore number 10 to honor Leyland.[3][4][5]

Florida Marlins (1997–1998)

In 1997, Leyland was hired by Wayne Huizenga to manage the Florida Marlins and promptly led them to the franchise's first World Championship that year, defeating the Cleveland Indians—four games to three—in the Fall Classic. The Marlins, in only their fifth year of existence, became the fastest expansion franchise to win a World Series. The Arizona Diamondbacks surpassed the Marlins when they won the World Series in 2001, their fourth season.

In the offseason, Huizenga dismantled the team in a fire sale. After Game 7, when asked about rumors that he might retire if Huizenga sold the franchise, Leyland quipped, "My wife doesn't like me that much. I can't retire."[6] Leyland remained as the manager, but resigned after the 1998 season, when the Marlins went 54–108. Due to the details of his contract (alongside the team finding itself in the process of being sold), he received a $500,000 buyout for the remaining three years of his five-year contract.[7]

Colorado Rockies (1999)

Leyland was subsequently hired by the Colorado Rockies for the 1999 season. Leyland reached 1,000 wins on April 15, leading the Rockies to a 6–4 win over the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. He achieved the feat in his 2,048th game as manager.[8][9] Leyland ultimately came to regret the decision to manage in Colorado, saying that while he was treated well by the team, he felt he could not manage well with Coors Field in regard to pitching, as he described himself as "pitcher's manager." He walked away from the final two years of his contract after one season.[10] It was the fifth time in Leyland's 14 seasons that he skippered a team that finished last in its division. After this, he became a Pittsburgh-based scout for the St. Louis Cardinals.[11]

Detroit Tigers (2006–2013)

Following the release of Alan Trammell as the manager of the Tigers, Leyland was hired as new Tigers manager, returning to the franchise with which he spent the first 18 years of his professional baseball career.[12] It marked the first time Leyland managed in the American League.

Leyland in 2010

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 to win the American League pennant before falling to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 World Series. 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 La Russa and Bobby Cox. Leyland also won the Sporting News Manager of the Year Award for the American League in 2006.

The Tigers had heightened expectations after the pennant, but they muddled through the next four seasons, which included a last place finish in 2008 (the sixth and last time Leyland had skippered a last place team). Leyland would reach 1,500 wins on April 15, 2011, with a win over the Oakland Athletics, becoming the 19th manager to do so.[13][14] That year, he would lead the Tigers to another 95–67 regular season record (an improvement of 14 wins), winning the American League Central Division. They went on to defeat the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series before losing to the Texas Rangers in the American League Championship Series.

Leyland in 2011

On May 1, 2012, Leyland gained his 1,600th victory as a major league manager, passing Tommy Lasorda on the all-time wins list.[15] In 2012, Leyland led the Tigers to an 88–74 regular season record, winning the American League Central Division. On that team, Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera was the American League Triple Crown winner that season. This was the first Triple Crown winner in Major League Baseball since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967. When the Tigers won the AL Central for the second consecutive season, Leyland became the only Tigers manager besides Hughie Jennings to lead Detroit to the postseason three times.

In the 2012 postseason, Detroit defeated the Athletics in a five-game ALDS and returned to the World Series following a sweep of the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. Detroit was swept in the 2012 World Series by the San Francisco Giants. They were shut out twice, the same number as in the entire 162-game regular season, and had a team batting average of .159.

On September 25, 2013, Leyland won his 700th game with the Tigers. With the 1–0 victory over the Minnesota Twins, the Tigers clinched their third consecutive American League Central Division title.[16] Leyland joined former coach Tony La Russa as the only managers who have led two different MLB franchises to three consecutive division titles. Of the eleven managers to have won three pennants, seven did so in the divisional era, and Leyland has the second most playoff appearances to have won three pennants with eight, with only Terry Francona having more appearances. His 44 postseason wins are tied for fourth most in MLB history with Bruce Bochy, while his 40 losses are fourth most. He retired from managing following the 2013 season, remaining with the Tigers organization as a special assistant.[17][18] He was replaced by Brad Ausmus.

Team USA

On April 15, 2016, Leyland was named the manager of Team USA at the 2017 World Baseball Classic. The United States won the 2017 tournament under his leadership, making Leyland the only manager to win a World Series and a WBC title.[19]


On May 30, 2017, Leyland was one of eight new inductees announced for the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in Detroit. The ceremony took place on September 15, 2017.[citation needed]

On December 3, 2023, Leyland was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2024.[20]

Managerial record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Games Won Lost Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
PIT 1986 162 64 98 .395 6th in NL East
PIT 1987 162 80 82 .494 4th in NL East
PIT 1988 160 85 75 .531 2nd in NL East
PIT 1989 162 74 88 .457 5th in NL East
PIT 1990 162 95 67 .586 1st in NL East 2 4 .333 Lost NLCS (CIN)
PIT 1991 162 98 64 .605 1st in NL East 3 4 .429 Lost NLCS (ATL)
PIT 1992 162 96 66 .593 1st in NL East 3 4 .429 Lost NLCS (ATL)
PIT 1993 162 75 87 .463 5th in NL East
PIT 1994 114 53 61 .465 3rd in NL Central
PIT 1995 144 58 86 .403 5th in NL Central
PIT 1996 162 73 89 .451 5th in NL Central
PIT total 1714 851 863 .496 8 12 .400
FLA 1997 162 92 70 .568 2nd in NL East 11 5 .688 Won World Series (CLE)
FLA 1998 162 54 108 .333 5th in NL East
FLA total 324 146 178 .451 11 5 .688
COL 1999 162 72 90 .444 5th in NL West
COL total 162 72 90 .444 0 0
DET 2006 162 95 67 .586 2nd in AL Central 8 5 .615 Lost World Series (STL)
DET 2007 162 88 74 .543 2nd in AL Central
DET 2008 162 74 88 .457 5th in AL Central
DET 2009 163 86 77 .528 2nd in AL Central
DET 2010 162 81 81 .500 3rd in AL Central
DET 2011 162 95 67 .586 1st in AL Central 5 6 .455 Lost ALCS (TEX)
DET 2012 162 88 74 .543 1st in AL Central 7 6 .538 Lost World Series (SF)
DET 2013 162 93 69 .574 1st in AL Central 5 6 .455 Lost ALCS (BOS)
DET total 1297 700 597 .540 25 23 .521
Total[21] 3497 1769 1728 .506 44 40 .524

Personal life

Leyland still keeps his home in the Pittsburgh suburb of Thornburg, Pennsylvania, where he has raised two children, Patrick[22] and Kellie with his wife Katie. His son, Pat, a catcher/first baseman, was drafted by the Tigers in 2010 and also played in the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles organizations through 2015.[23]

See also


  1. ^ "Dusty Baker Was an All-Time Great Manager Long Before His 2,000th Win". May 6, 2022.
  2. ^ "Leyland Intends to Resign". The New York Times. September 18, 1996.
  3. ^ Rumberg, Howe (November 23, 2010). "Terry Collins introduced as Mets' manager". Yahoo! Sports. Associated Press. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  4. ^ Rubin, Adam (December 8, 2010). "Leyland praises Collins". ESPNNewYork.com. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  5. ^ Rubin, Adam (November 23, 2010). "TC on No. 10". ESPNNewYork.com. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  6. ^ Kiszla, Mark (October 27, 1997). "Passionate man the last of a breed". Denver Post. p. C-01.
  7. ^ "Leyland Quits Marlins, Talks to Rockies". Los Angeles Times. October 2, 1998.
  8. ^ "Rockies Give Leyland 1000th Win". CBS News.
  9. ^ "San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies Box Score, April 15, 1999".
  10. ^ "Will Jim Leyland ever make into the Hall of Fame?".
  11. ^ "PLUS: BASEBALL – ST. LOUIS; Leyland to Scout". The New York Times. December 1, 1999. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
  12. ^ "Tigers pounce quickly, hire Leyland to manage". ESPN.com. Associated Press. October 4, 2005. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  13. ^ "Tigers manager Jim Leyland wins No. 1,500 but isn't much of a milestone guy". April 17, 2011.
  14. ^ "Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics Box Score, April 15, 2011".
  15. ^ "Austin Jackson's 4 hits, Rick Porcello's pitching lead Tigers over Royals". espn.com. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  16. ^ "Tigers shut out Twins to win Central title". Reuters. September 26, 2013.
  17. ^ "Leyland steps down after eight years with Tigers". MLB.com. October 21, 2013.
  18. ^ "Detroit Tigers". Detroit Free Press.
  19. ^ Fenech, Anthony (April 15, 2016). "Jim Leyland to manage Team USA in World Baseball Classic". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  20. ^ Axisa, Mike. "2023 Baseball Hall of Fame: World Series-winning manager Jim Leyland elected into Cooperstown". cbssports.com. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 4, 2023.
  21. ^ "Jim Leyland". Baseball Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved December 5, 2014.
  22. ^ Tehan, Patrick (October 13, 1991). "Sunday Briefing". The Pittsburgh Press. Retrieved March 27, 2016 – via Google News Archive Search.
  23. ^ "Detroit Tigers prospect Pat Leyland follows footsteps of father, Tigers manager Jim Leyland".