Leyland changed the game in Detroit

October, 21, 2013
10/21/13
2:29
PM ET

Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesJim Leyland announced he is stepping down after eight seasons as Tigers manager.
Jim Leyland announced he is stepping down as the manager of the Detroit Tigers, just two days after they were eliminated by the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. Leyland, who had the most wins among baseball active managers this past season, retires with 1,769 career wins, 15th–most in MLB history.

Nine of the 14 men ahead of him on the all-time wins list are in the Hall of Fame, and four of the other five are not yet eligible.

Leyland led the Tigers to four postseason appearances in eight seasons after the franchise made just four in its previous 60 seasons combined before he took over. The Tigers made the postseason in each of the past three seasons, just the second such streak in franchise history (1907-09).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he’s one of just seven managers to win a pennant in both leagues, as he led the Florida Marlins to the World Series title in 1997 and won AL pennants with the Tigers in 2006 and 2012. Four of the other six men are in the Hall of Fame, and one who isn’t is Tony LaRussa.

He’s one of just six men to win the Manager of the Year award in both leagues and one of five to win the award at least three times (LaRussa and Bobby Cox each won it four times).

Leyland won 700 games with the Tigers, third-most in franchise history. It’s the best eight-season stretch for the franchise since they won 713 games from 1966-73.

Finding a winning manager for the Tigers could be tricky. The last man other than Leyland to complete a season above .500 in Detroit was Sparky Anderson in 1993.

Leyland retires with the fourth-most postseason wins in MLB history, behind Joe Torre, LaRussa and Cox, and the seventh-best postseason win percentage (min. 50 games managed).

The Tigers' success under Leyland came with some disappointment. The Tigers were just the sixth team to make three straight LCS appearances without a World Series title in that span. Leyland was the manager for one of the other teams to do that -- the 1990-92 Pittsburgh Pirates.

And during his tenure, the Tigers had three major award winners -- two MVPs (Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera) and a Cy Young winner (Verlander). No other team had more since 2006.

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