With Wednesday's 9-3 Tigers win over the Kansas City Royals, Jim Leyland overtook Tommy Lasorda and became the 17th winningest manager in MLB history. With his 1600th win, Leyland also tops all active managers.
Leyland managed the Pirates from '86-'96, winning the NL East for three consecutive years ('90-'92). The mid-nineties Pirates failed to finish better than third in their division. A change of scenery did Leyland right as the next year he took over the reigns for the Florida Marlins and won his first Championship ring. He spent one year with the Colorado Rockies (1999); the team went 72-90 and finished last in the NL West.
Leyland took five years off before returning to work with GM Dave Dombrowski. In his very first year back he skippered the Detroit Tigers to a 95-67 record and an AL pennant, the then 61 year-old's second league championship. He is the seventh manager in history to win a pennant in both leagues. Leyland was NL Manager of the Year in '90, '92 and AL Manager of the Year in '06.
In 21 seasons as a manager, Leyland's stats are: 1600 wins, 1596 losses in 3198 games played (.501 win %). He leads all active managers in wins. Here's a look at the rest of the pack:
Jim Leyland (1600)
Dusty Baker (1495)
Bruce Bochy (1372)
Davey Johnson (1202)
Bobby Valentine (1128)
Mike Scioscia (1075)
Buck Showalter (1000)
Leyland played in the minor-leagues, but in six seasons between rookie-league and AA ball, he put up a slash-line of .222/.261/.523. When asked about his minor-league days by the Detroit Free Press, Leyland responded that he “could've been inside the Duquesne Light Company, and it wouldn't have made a difference.”
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