1. He was a winner. No matter where he went.
The uniform may have changed a few times over the course of his 27-year managerial career, but Jim Leyland’s facial expression and ability to turn talent into a team certainly hasn’t. He won NL Manager of the Year twice with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He won the 1997 World Series with the Florida Marlins merely five years after the expansion team came into existence. And he helped a Detroit Tigers franchise that hadn’t had a winning season in over a decade become one of MLB’s elite teams. He is 15th in all-time wins and a coaching legend — and we’re running low on legends.
2. No one gets ejected like Jim Leyland anymore.
Getting thrown out of a baseball game is an art form, and Leyland was a master at it. He stood up for his players and his team even when he knew he was wrong. Leyland’s tantrums have earned him a spot on the Mount Rushmore of hot-headed managers alongside Bobby Cox and Lou Pinella.
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