Jim Leyland, welcome to Cooperstown.
The former longtime manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins, Colorado Rockies, and Detroit Tigers was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the contemporary baseball era committee on Sunday. Leyland was apparently the easy choice, receiving 15 of 16 possible votes from the committee members who were considering managers.
He becomes only the fourth Hall of Famer to be inducted as a manager without having played in the majors (excluding Negro League managers), joining Joe McCarthy, Frank Selee, and Earl Weaver.
Leyland, who turns 79 later in December, won 1,769 games over 22 seasons in the dugout, placing 18th all time. He also ranks 17th in games managed (3,499) and is tied for seventh in playoff wins (44). He’s one of eight skippers to be named Manager of the Year in both leagues, winning it twice with the Pirates and once with the Tigers.
The bulk of his career came in Pittsburgh and Detroit, where he orchestrated on-field turnarounds and won 700 games with both teams. Leyland led the Pirates to three straight division titles from 1990-92 before the franchise’s downturn; with the Tigers, he guided them to six winning seasons, four playoff berths, and a pair of AL pennants.
Leyland’s lone World Series title came in 1997 with the Marlins in only their fifth season of existence. He’s one of just 10 managers to have won pennants in both leagues.
After he retired from the Tigers in 2013, Leyland made a brief return to the dugout as Team USA’s skipper in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. By guiding the United States to victory in the tournament, he became the first and only manager in baseball history with both a World Series and WBC championship.
Leyland was the only one elected of the eight candidates on this year’s ballot, which covered managers, executives, and umpires whose primary contributions came after 1980. Former skipper Lou Piniella received 11 votes, missing election by one vote for the second time in five years, while longtime executive and player Bill White earned 10 votes. The other five candidates – managers Cito Gaston and Davey Johnson, executive Hank Peters, and umpires Ed Montague and Joe West – received fewer than five votes each.
The Hall of Fame’s contemporary baseball era committee will next vote on post-1980 managers, executives, and umpires in 2026.
Leyland will be inducted as part of the Hall of Fame’s class of 2024 in Cooperstown on July 21. He’ll be joined on stage by any players who are elected by the BBWAA voters. Results of the writers’ ballot will be announced Jan. 23.
Got a story or tip for us? Email Sports Gossip editors at email@example.com
Want More From Sports Gossip?