Sunday, September 06, 2009
Jim Leyland and the march into historyPosted by Chris Jaffe
Yesterday, Jim Leyland won his 1,400 game as manager. He is only the 24th manager to ever do that. That same win also pushed him one past Wilbert Robinson, as the (undeserving) Hall of Fame skipper won 1,399 games in his career. By the end of the year, Leyland should pass up three more managers on the all-time win leaderboard, including Hall of Famers Al Lopez and Miller Huggins.
Unfortunately for Leyland, earlier this year he also became the 18th skipper to lose 1,400 games.
He's 21st all-time in games managed, a rather impressive achievement given that he was 41 years old when he started. That sounds young for a manager but then again most managers aren't rookie skippers. Only five of the guys ahead of him were 41 or older in their managerial debut. There's a bit of an era bias at play, but it's more than that: LaRussa, Cox, and Torre were all in their 30s when they started, for example.
History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail. Oh, and now he's on twitter.