NASHVILLE, Tennessee- Jim Leyland, who led the Florida Marlins to the 1997 World Series, and who won 1,769 regular-season games in 22 years as an entertaining and at times rough-around-the-edges manager Big leagueswas selected on Sunday for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Now 78 years old, Leyland received 15 of 16 votes by the contemporary era committee for managers, executives, and referees. He becomes the 23rd coach in the Hall of Fame.
Former player and coach Lou Pinella was one vote away for the second time, also receiving 11 votes like in 2018. Former player, commentator, and executive Bill White finished very distant.
Managers Cito Gaston and Davey Johnson, umpires Joe West and Ed Montague, and general manager Hank Peters received fewer than five votes.
Leyland coached at Pittsburgh, Florida, Colorado, and Detroit between 1986 and 2013.
He grew up in the Toledo, Ohio suburb of Perrysville. He was a minor league catcher and occasional third baseman for the Detroit Tigers from 1965-70. Without having climbed Double A, he finished with a .222 batting average, four home runs and 102 RBIs.
After 11 seasons in Detroit as a Minor League manager, he left the Tigers to assist Tony La Russa as third base coach with the Chicago White Sox between 1982-85, then began his career as a manager in the majors by starting with the Pittsburgh Pirates between 1986-96.
During a run outside major markets, he became upset at what he perceived as a lack of respect for his teams.
“It makes me vomit,” he said in 1997. “I’m sick and tired of hearing about New York, Atlanta, and Baltimore.”
Pittsburgh was one out away from reaching the World Series in 1992 before Francisco Carrera’s two-run hit in Game 7 that won the pennant for Atlanta. Leyland left Pittsburgh after its fourth losing season in 1996. Five days after his last game, he chose the Marlins over the White Sox, Red Sox and Angels.
Florida won the title the following year in the franchise’s fifth season, the youngest expansion team to win the championship at that time.
Leyland teams were first six times and finished with a record of 1,769-1,728. He won the American League championships in 2006, losing the World Series to St. Louis in five games, and in 2012 when he was swept by San Francisco. Leyland was voted Manager of the Year in 1990, 1992, and 2006. He led the United States in the World Baseball Classic 2017, the only title for the Americans.
He was also ejected 73 times, tied for 10th with Clark Griffith in major league history.