Legendary manager and current Detroit Tigers special assistant Jim Leyland was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame earlier this week.
Leyland managed 11 years for the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2 years for the Florida Marlins, 1 season for the Colorado Rockies and 8 years for the Detroit Tigers. Leyland led the Marlins to a World Series championship in 1997. He won American League pennants with the Tigers in 2006 and 2012. He led the Pirates to 3 consecutive playoff appearances from 1990 through 1992.
Leyland shared the funny story of how he found out that he was being enshrined after being named on 15 of the 16 special ballots, according to MLB writer Jeff Jones:
“Jim Leyland said that he'd gone up to lay in bed and reflect a little when his phone rang from the Hall of Fame. His wife walked in the room and heard a woman's voice on the other end and asked who it was. “It's Jake from State Farm,” he said. (It was Jane Forbes Clark.)”
Tigers special assistant Leyland was elected in a vote by the Contemporary Baseball Era Non-Players Committee on Sunday.
The voting was the result of a restructured ballot system in which manager, umpire and executive candidates are considered separately from players. This was done to create better opportunities for managerial induction. The contemporary era is considered from 1980 to the present.
In addition to Leyland, the other candidates on the ballot were managers Lou Pinella, Cito Gaston and Davey Johnson, umpires Ed Montague and Joe West, and executives Hank Peters and Bill White.
White received 10 votes (62.5%) and Gaston, Johnson, Montague, Peters and West each received fewer than five votes.