He may have frustrated us at times, but the reality is that Jim Leyland was a great manager for the Detroit Tigers. He managed the team from 2006-2013, and won four division titles and two AL Pennants.
Now, after all these years, he's finally being recognized for his greatness.
Leyland was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee on Sunday. There were eight people under consideration, and the skipper is the only one that got in.
To say "it's about time" would be an understatement. Leyland has earned many accolades throughout his long career. He won a World Series with the Marlins in 1997. He's one of only 10 managers all-time to win the pennant in both the American League and the National League.
He also won the World Baseball Classic as Team USA's manager in 2017. It's unfortunate that he never won a ring in Detroit, but the guy is a winner, through and through.
The skipper wasn't everyone's favorite. He had weird obsessions with players like Ryan Raburn and Don Kelly. His infamous Sunday lineups would annoy people to no end. But, we put up with him because he won games, and that's what's most important.
These days, Leyland is still a special assistant to the GM for the Tigers. He's often seen around the facility during spring training. He's still the same old skipper. He just seems so much relaxed now.
We here at Motor City Bengals would like to congratulate Jim on his well-deserved trip to Cooperstown. He was a great manager, and he's an even better person. Congrats, skip. Why not smoke a cigar to celebrate?
Leyland will be enshrined in Cooperstown, along with his soon-to-be fellow hall-of-famers, on Sunday, July 21, 2024.