Former Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who took the team to the World Series in 2006, only to lose to the St. Louis Cardinals, has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Hall Fame press release on Sunday noted that "Leyland managed in the big leagues for 22 seasons with the Pirates, Marlins, Rockies and Tigers, amassing 1,769 victories, six first-place finishes, three pennants and the 1997 World Series title with the Marlins."
Leyland, 78, who currently works as a special assistant in the Tigers' front office, managed the Tigers from 2006 to 2013.
Tony Paul of the Detroit News described him this way:
Jim Leyland always had the aura of a so-called old-school manager. He wore metal spikes. He wore a jersey. He smoked more than a pack a day. On road trips to Kansas City, he was a postgame regular at the Intercontinental Hotel bar, often singing Frank Sinatra standards, accompanied by the resident piano player.
And in games, he often offered the impression of a man who went with his gut, more than arithmetic.
The induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., is slated for next July 21.
Read the full press release below
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) – Jim Leyland, who took three franchises to the postseason and led the Florida Marlins to the 1997 World Series title, earned election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday via the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee process, it was announced today on MLB Network.
Leyland was a candidate on the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee Managers/Executive/Umpires Ballot, which was considered by a 16-member committee that held meetings today in Nashville, Tenn. The eight-person ballot was comprised of candidates whose primary contribution to the game came from 1980 to the present.
Leyland was named on 15 of 16 ballots as the only candidate to reach the 75-percent threshold necessary for election.
Leyland, 78, will be joined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2024 by any electees who emerge from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting, which will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 23.
Leyland managed in the big leagues for 22 seasons with the Pirates, Marlins, Rockies and Tigers, amassing 1,769 victories, six first-place finishes, three pennants and the 1997 World Series title with the Marlins. A three-time Manager of the Year winner – twice with the Pirates in 1990 and 1992 and again with the Tigers in 2006 – Leyland’s team also finished second five times. He finished in the Top 2 of his league’s Manager of the Year voting six times.
Leyland led his teams to 90-or-more victories seven times and his victory total ranks second all-time among managers who never played in the big leagues, trailing only Hall of Famer Joe McCarthy. Following his big league managerial career, Leyland skippered Team USA to the World Baseball Classic title in 2017, the first championship in the event for the United States.
The 16-member Hall of Fame Board-appointed electorate charged with the review of the Contemporary Baseball Era Managers/Executives/Umpires Ballot was comprised of Hall of Fame members Jeff Bagwell, Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Bud Selig, Ted Simmons, Jim Thome and Joe Torre; major league executives Sandy Alderson, Bill DeWitt, Michael Hill, Ken Kendrick, Andy MacPhail and Phyllis Merhige; and veteran media members/historians Sean Forman, Jack O’Connell and Jesus Ortiz. Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark served as the non-voting chairman of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee.
Results of the Contemporary Baseball Era Managers/Executives/Umpires Ballot (12 votes needed for election): Jim Leyland (15 votes, 93.8%); Lou Piniella (11 votes, 68.8%); Bill White (10 votes, 62.5%); Cito Gaston, Davey Johnson, Ed Montague, Hank Peters and Joe West each received less than five votes.
The Contemporary Baseball Era Committee will next consider managers, executives and umpires in 2026 for the 2027 Induction year, as part of the three-year era committee cycle. The Classic Era Committee will consider all candidates whose primary contributions to the game came prior to 1980 in the winter of 2024 for the Class of 2025; and Contemporary Baseball Era Committee Players Ballot will be considered in the winter of 2025 for the Class of 2026. Committees are annually scheduled to convene at the Winter Meetings.
The eight Contemporary Baseball Era Managers/Executives/Umpires Committee finalists were selected by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America-appointed Historical Overview Committee from all eligible candidates whose most significant career impact was realized from 1980 to the present. Eligible candidates include managers and umpires with 10 or more major league seasons and retired for at least five years (candidates who are 65 years or older are eligible six months following retirement); and executives retired for at least five years (active executives 70 years or older are eligible for consideration regardless of the position they hold in an organization and regardless of whether their body of work has been completed). All candidates must not be on Baseball’s Ineligible List.
The Contemporary Baseball Era Managers/Executives/Umpires Ballot was determined this fall by the Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran historians: Adrian Burgos (University of Illinois), Bob Elliott (Canadian Baseball Network); Jim Henneman (formerly Baltimore Sun); Steve Hirdt (Stats Perform); David O’Brien (The Athletic); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA); Jim Reeves (formerly Fort Worth Star-Telegram); Tracy Ringolsby (InsideTheSeams.com); Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle); Susan Slusser (San Francisco Chronicle); and Mark Whicker (Los Angeles News Group).
Hall of Fame Weekend 2024 will be held July 19-22 in Cooperstown, N.Y., with the Induction Ceremony slated for Sunday, July 21, 2024. The BBWAA election results will be announced at 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Jan. 23, on MLB Network.
Also this week, two Hall of Fame award winners will be announced, with the BBWAA selecting its annual Career Excellence Award winner on Tuesday, Dec. 5, for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. On Wednesday, Dec. 6, the Museum will announce the 2024 Ford C. Frick Award winner, given for excellence in baseball broadcasting.