The 2017 class of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame will be formally announced before Tuesday night’s Tigers-Royals game on Fox Sports Detroit. But we already know the MSHOF 2017 class includes Jim Leyland after the announcement went up at the website.
Free Press columnist Mitch Albom, Oakland University basketball coach Greg Kampe, MSU and Falcons receiver Andre Rison, Pistons big man Dennis Rodman, and “Fab Five” basketball player Jalen Rose are also set to be inducted, along with Dean Look and Jon Jansen.
Leyland managed the Tigers from 2006 until 2013. During that time, he led the team to two unsuccessful World Series appearances and three straight Central Division titles in 2011-13. He had a record of 700-597 as manager of the Tigers.
Of course more than the playoff appearances Leyland was known for boggling fans’ minds, for his penchant for smoking, and for firey yet entertaining outbursts.
The April 2006 rant to reporters goes down as one of Leyland’s finest moments.
JL: We stunk. Next question.
Reporter: What bothered you the most?
JL: It was lackluster. The whole ball of wax was lackluster. We had a chance to take the series, take 3 of 4 and we came out like we had brought our luggage to the park like we had to play a game before we went on the road. That's not good enough.
Reporter: It seems like this was your worst loss?
JL: Yeah we stunk period. We stunk and it's not good enough. This stuff has been going on here before and it's not going to happen here. We had a chance to take a series. I'm not talking about anyone in particular, I'm talking about the team, myself, the coaches and everybody else included. It's my responsibility to have the team ready to play today and they weren't ready to play. They were ready to get on the plane and go to Oakland. If they won it was okay and if they lost it was okay. That's not good enough.
Just as fun though, and worthy of the Hall alone, is this ejection from 2011.
For more on Leyland’s legacy, you can read the feature I wrote when he retired.