Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2009 Topps #339 Jim Leyland

(I can't believe this didn't show up at the right time. Had this typed in and ready to send when the computer crashed. Fortunately, my computer works again, but the article did not post like I had thought. Sorry about that.)

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, March 19, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2009 Topps #339.
  • Name, position, team: Jim Leyland, manager, Detroit Tigers.
  • Major League Debut: n/a. Managerial Debut: April 8, 1986.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2008 stats (Tigers): 74-88 5th (AL Central).
  • Any special information about manager: Hired as Manager 10/04/2005.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Leyland's ninth regular Topps card as a manager (total includes both Topps and Topps Traded cards).
  • Commentary: I grew up watching Jim Leyland lead the Pittsburgh Pirates as they would beat my Cubs on numerous occasions. Even then, he looked like he had been around the game for a very long time. Little did I know that when I started watching the game, he had only been on the helm of the Bucs for about three years. But he was a winner, and led the Pirates to three straight NL East Division titles in the early 90's. But after a certain slugger left for San Francisco, there hasn't been a winning team in Pittsburgh since. And after finishing in fifth place during three of his last four years in the Steel City, Leyland was let go. He left Pittsburgh for Miami, and led the wild card Marlins to their first World Series title. After the Marlins organization went on a fire sale that saw most of the championship roster dismantled the following season, the team crash landed back to fifth place, and Leyland was once again on the move. This time, to Denver, where he led the Rockies to a 72-90 record, and another last place finish. Figuring that he should call it a career, he left Colorado even though he had two years left on his contract. For six seasons, Leyland was away from baseball. But when the Detroit Tigers, who had spent the last few years as a doormat in the AL Central, was looking for a manager, Leyland interviewed for the job...and was hired. He did not disappoint. In his first year back in the game, he led the Tigers to a 95-67 record, a 24 game improvement over the year before. The Tigers won the AL pennant that year and the team's first World Series appearance since 1984. In 2009, Leyland managed the team to a 86-77 record, good for second place again in the ever competitive AL Central. As of the end of the 2012 season, he has led the team to a 607-528 record, two first place finishes, three playoff appearances, and two AL Pennants. He is a three-time Manager of the Year winner. The Tigers have been one of the best teams in baseball during the last couple of years, and are heading into the 2013 season as the defending American League Champions.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.15-$0.40.
  • How many cards of this person do I own?: 18 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1991 Topps #541. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1991 here on the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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