Jim Gilliam

James William "Junior" Gilliam (October 17, 1928 – October 8, 1978) was an American second baseman, third baseman, and coach in Negro League and Major League Baseball who spent his entire major league career with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was named the 1953 National League Rookie of the Year, and was a key member of ten National League championship teams from 1953 to 1978. As the Dodgers' leadoff hitter for most of the 1950s, he scored over 100 runs in each of his first four seasons and led the National League in triples in 1953 and walks in 1959. Upon retirement, he became one of the first African-American coaches in the major leagues.

Jim Gilliam
JimGilliam
Gilliam with the Brooklyn Dodgers
Second baseman / Third baseman
Born: October 17, 1928
Nashville, Tennessee
Died: October 8, 1978 (aged 49)
Inglewood, California
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 14, 1953, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 1966, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB statistics
Batting average.265
Home runs65
Runs batted in558
Teams
Negro leagues

Major League Baseball

Career highlights and awards

Negro leagues

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Gilliam began playing on a local semi-pro team at age 14 and dropped out of high school in his senior year to pursue his baseball career. He joined the Negro National League's Baltimore Elite Giants, with whom he played from 1946 to 1950. He received his nickname, "Junior", during this time. He was voted an All-Star three straight years from 1948 to 1950. Veteran George Scales taught him to switch hit.

Minor leagues

In 1951, he was signed as an amateur free agent by the Brooklyn Dodgers, who sent him to play for their Triple-A International League farm team, the Montreal Royals; he could not play for the Dodgers' Double-A affiliate, the Fort Worth Cats, as blacks were still barred from the Texas League. He led the International League in runs in both 1951 and 1952.

Brooklyn Dodgers

Gilliam made his debut with the Dodgers in April 1953, with the formidable task of taking over second base from Jackie Robinson, who was shifted to the outfield and third base; he proved capable, batting .278 with a team-leading 125 runs for the National League champions. His 17 triples led the National League, and remain the most by a Dodger since 1920; he was second in the league (behind Stan Musial) with 100 walks, and third with 21 stolen bases. For his excellent season he earned National League Rookie of the Year honors, as well as The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award.

He continued to play well during the team's Brooklyn years, batting .282 in 1954 with a career-high 13 home runs before slipping to a .249 average for the 1955 champions; he scored over 100 runs both years, as well as in 1956. With the 1956 pennant winners, he batted a career-best .300 and made his first major league All-Star team, also finishing fifth in voting for the Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award; he was again second in the league in walks (95, behind teammate Duke Snider) and steals (21, behind Willie Mays). On July 21 of that year, he tied John Montgomery Ward's 1892 major league record of 12 assists in a game. In the Dodgers' last season in Brooklyn in 1957, he batted .250 but led the National League in putouts and fielding percentage and again finished second behind Mays in stolen bases.

Los Angeles Dodgers

LAret19
Jim Gilliam's number 19 was retired by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1978.

He continued to star with the team after their 1958 move to Los Angeles, though he gradually shifted to third base; for the 1959 champions he led the National League in walks (96), along with 23 steals, and was again an All-Star, hitting a home run in that year's second All-Star Game. During the team's Los Angeles years, he moved back to second base from 1961 to 1963, batting .282 in the 1963 pennant year and placing sixth in that year's MVP vote; he also relinquished the leadoff role to Maury Wills in the 1960s, instead batting second in the order.

Gilliam was named a coach after the 1964 season, and intended to end his playing career, but team injuries resulted in his seeing substantial play at third base in 1965 and 1966, with the team again winning the National League championship in both seasons. In 1965 he was part of the major leagues' first all-switch-hitting infield, with shortstop Wills, first baseman Wes Parker, and second baseman Jim Lefebvre. On September 5, Gilliam hit a 2-run pinch triple in a road game against the Houston Astros, giving the Dodgers a 3–2 lead in the ninth inning; the Los Angeles Rams, playing a preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles at the Coliseum, were playing so poorly despite their 10–0 win that the biggest cheer from the stands came from people listening to portable radios tuned to the Dodger game who cheered when Gilliam got the hit.[1]

He finally retired as a player following the 1966 season with a .265 career batting average, 1,889 hits, 1,163 runs, 65 home runs, 558 runs batted in, 304 doubles, 71 triples, 1,036 walks, and 203 stolen bases over 14 seasons.

Post-season games

Gilliam played in seven World Series with the Dodgers, four of them against the New York Yankees. In the 1953 World Series he singled to lead off Game 1, and had a solo homer in the fifth inning batting left-handed. He hit three doubles, scoring once and driving in two runs, in the 7–3 Game 4 victory; he had another homer, this time batting right-handed, in the 11–7 loss in Game 5. In Game 3 of the 1955 World Series, he drew a walk with the bases loaded in the second inning to give the Dodgers the lead for good, and he drove in the first run of the 8–5 Game 4 win; the Dodgers won in seven games for their first Series championship. In the 1956 World Series, he walked with one out in the tenth inning of Game 6 and scored on a single by Robinson to give the Dodgers a 1–0 victory, tying the Series; in Game 5, he struck out and grounded out twice in the perfect game pitched by the Yankees' Don Larsen. In the 1963 World Series, he scored the only run of Game 3 in the first inning, after walking and advancing to second base on a wild pitch; after advancing all the way to third base on an error by Joe Pepitone in the seventh inning of Game 4, he scored on a Willie Davis sacrifice fly to give the Dodgers a 2–1 win and a Series sweep. He was also on Dodgers teams which won the Series in 1959 against the Chicago White Sox and 1965 against the Minnesota Twins. His final major league appearance was in Game 2 of the 1966 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Coach

Gilliam served as a player-coach beginning in 1964, and became a full-time coach in 1967. He continued as a coach with the Dodgers until his death in 1978, including three more Dodger pennant teams in 1974, 1977, and 1978; they lost the World Series in each year.

Death and legacy

Gilliam suffered a massive brain hemorrhage at his home on September 15, 1978, and, following surgery, lapsed into a coma from which he did not recover. He died in Inglewood, California, nine days before his 50th birthday, one day after the Dodgers clinched their tenth pennant during his tenure in the 1978 National League Championship Series. His uniform number 19 was retired by the Dodgers two days after his death, prior to Game 1 of the 1978 World Series. His number is the only one retired by the Dodgers of a player not in the Hall of Fame. He is interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery.

Junior Gilliam Way, Nashville 1
A street sign in front of First Tennessee Park in Nashville, Tennessee, honoring Junior Gilliam

Gilliam was respected for his personal qualities and sportsmanship, in addition to his playing ability, over his 28-year career with the Dodgers. Quotations about him include the following:

What a great team player he was. He'd hit behind Maury, take pitch after pitch after pitch. And when Maury got to second, he'd give himself up by hitting the ball to the right side, even with two strikes, which most hitters won't do.

— teammate Jeff Torborg, describing Gilliam as the ideal #2 hitter[2]

He didn't hit with power, he had no arm, and he couldn't run. But he did the little things to win ballgames. He never griped or complained. He was one of the most unselfish ballplayers I know.

— manager Walter Alston

Father, friend, and locker room inspiration that will never be forgotten.

— Davey Lopes, Dodgers second baseman from 1972 to 1981

The book Carl Erskine's Tales from the Dodgers Dugout: Extra Innings (2004) includes short stories from former Dodger pitcher Carl Erskine. Gilliam is prominent in many of these stories.

In 1981, the City of Los Angeles dedicated a park in honor of Junior Gilliam's legacy. In 1984 the Jim Gilliam Park opened to the public, and is located on La Brea Avenue. The Jim Gilliam Park is marked by several facilities named after him. The first ball ceremony was thrown by the Honorable Tom Bradley, Mayor of Los Angeles (1973–1993).

On May 21, 2015, the Nashville Metro Council passed an ordinance renaming a part of Jackson Street between Second Avenue and to an alley slightly past Fifth Avenue to "Junior Gilliam Way". The center part of this stretch named for Gilliam is the location of Nashville's First Tennessee Park, a minor league baseball stadium built in 2015 for the Triple-A Nashville Sounds.[3]

See also

References

  • Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia (2000). Kingston, New York: Total/Sports Illustrated. ISBN 1-892129-34-5.
  1. ^ Ziff, Sid (1965-09-06). "Amazing Dodgers". Los Angeles Times. p. III-1.
  2. ^ Stephen, Eric (January 26, 2009). "The All-Time LA Dodger Lineup: The Second Spot". True Blue LA. Retrieved June 3, 2015.
  3. ^ "ORDINANCE NO. BL2015-1105". Nashville.gov. May 21, 2015. Retrieved June 3, 2015.

External links

Preceded by
1st official batting coach
Los Angeles Dodgers Hitting Coach
1977–1978
Succeeded by
Jim Lefebvre
1953 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers repeated as National League champions by posting a 105–49 record, as of 2017, it is the best winning percentage in team history. However, the Dodgers again failed to win the World Series, losing in six games to the New York Yankees.

1953 Caribbean Series

The fifth edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was played in 1953. It was held from February 20 through February 25, featuring the champion baseball teams of Cuba, Leones de la Habana; Panama, Chesterfield Smokers; Puerto Rico, Cangrejeros de Santurce, and Venezuela, Leones del Caracas. The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice. The games were played at Estadio del Cerro in Havana, the Cuban capital.

1953 World Series

The 1953 World Series matched the 4-time defending champions New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in a rematch of the 1952 Series, and the 4th such matchup between the two teams in the past seven seasons. The Yankees won in 6 games for their 5th consecutive title—a mark which has not been equalled—and their 16th overall. Billy Martin recorded his 12th hit of the Series scoring Hank Bauer in Game 6.

1955 Brooklyn Dodgers season

In 1955, the Brooklyn Dodgers finally fulfilled the promise of many previous Dodger teams. Although the club had won several pennants in the past, and had won as many as 105 games in 1953, it had never won a World Series. This team finished 13.5 games ahead in the National League pennant race, leading the league in both runs scored and fewest runs allowed. In the 1955 World Series, they finally beat their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees. It was the Dodgers first and only World Series championship won while located in Brooklyn.

1956 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers edged out the Milwaukee Braves to win the National League title. The Dodgers again faced the New York Yankees in the World Series. This time they lost the series in seven games, one of which was a perfect game by the Yankees' Don Larsen.

1957 Brooklyn Dodgers season

The 1957 Brooklyn Dodgers season was overshadowed by Walter O'Malley's threat to move the Dodgers out of Brooklyn if the city did not build him a new stadium in that borough. When the best the mayor could promise was a stadium in Queens, O'Malley made good on his threats and moved the team to Los Angeles after the season ended. The Dodgers final game at Ebbets Field was on September 24 as they finished their 68th and last NL season, and their 75th overall, in Brooklyn in third place with an 84–70 record, eleven games behind the NL and World Series Champion Milwaukee Braves.

1959 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1959 Los Angeles Dodgers finished in a first-place tie with the Milwaukee Braves, with each club going 86–68. The Dodgers won the pennant as they swept the Braves in a best-of-three playoff series. They went on to defeat the Chicago White Sox in the 1959 World Series in just their second season since leaving Brooklyn. The Dodgers led all 16 Major League Baseball clubs in home attendance, drawing 2,071,045 fans to Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

1959 Major League Baseball All-Star Game (second game)

The 1959 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 27th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues composing Major League Baseball. The game was played on August 3, 1959, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers of the NL. The game resulted in a 5–3 victory for the American League. This was the second of two All-Star Games played in 1959, the first game having been played on July 7 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The first Midsummer Classic to be played on the West Coast, this was also one of only two All-Star Games to be played outside the month of July, the other being in 1981.

1960 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1960 Los Angeles Dodgers finished the season at 82–72, in fourth place in the National League race, 13 games behind the NL and World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates.

1964 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1964 Los Angeles Dodgers finished with a record of 80–82, 13 games behind the National League and World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, tied for sixth place with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

1966 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1966 Los Angeles Dodgers won the National League championship with a 95–67 record (1½ games over the San Francisco Giants), but were swept by the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.

1978 Los Angeles Dodgers season

The 1978 season ended with the Los Angeles Dodgers winning their second straight National League pennant and losing to the New York Yankees in the World Series again. Dodger coach Jim Gilliam died at the end of the season and his uniform number, 19, was retired by the team prior to Game 1 of the World Series; the team also wore a black memorial patch with Gilliam's number during the World Series. Unlike the previous Dodger team, no member of the team hit 30 home runs after seeing four members hit that mark the previous season (the team leader was Reggie Smith, with 29).

Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles

Baldwin Hills is a neighborhood within the South Los Angeles region of Los Angeles California. It is home to Kenneth Hahn State Regional Park and to Village Green, a National Historic Landmark.

Bobby Morgan (baseball)

Bobby Morris Morgan (born June 29, 1926) is an American former professional baseball infielder. He played eight seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) between 1950 and 1958 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, and Chicago Cubs.Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Morgan began his pro career in 1944, playing for two minor league teams before he was drafted for World War II military duty and spent the 1945–46 seasons in the United States Army, where he served in the European Theater of Operations. In 1949, he was named Most Valuable Player and All-Star shortstop of the Triple-A International League after he won the league batting crown (.337) and collected 112 runs batted in as a member of the Montreal Royals.

Morgan's days with the Dodgers were spent as a utility infielder, playing behind Hall of Famers Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson, All-Star Gil Hodges, 1953 Rookie of the Year Jim Gilliam and slick-fielding Billy Cox. He played in three World Series games for the Dodgers. In the 1952 series he was a defensive replacement in game 4, and lined out as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning of Game 7 against Bob Kuzava of the New York Yankees. In the 1953 fall classic he again lined out as a pinch hitter, in the seventh inning of game 6.

Traded to the Phillies in March 1954, Morgan enjoyed his best big-league season that year, setting personal bests in hits (119), doubles, home runs (14), RBI (50) and batting average (.262) as the Phillies' starting shortstop, where he displaced veteran former "Whiz Kid" Granny Hamner. The following year, Morgan moved to second base, but slumped at the plate.

Overall, as a big-leaguer, Morgan collected 487 hits, with 96 doubles, 11 triples and 53 home runs. He batted .233.

Morgan's playing career continued in the minor leagues through 1963, he then managed for three seasons (1964–66) in the Phillie farm system and scouted for the Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins.

Jack Crooks

John Charles "Jack" Crooks (November 9, 1865 – February 2, 1918) was an American Major League Baseball infielder born in St. Paul, Minnesota. He played mainly as a second base, but did spend some time playing third base for four teams during his eight seasons ranging from 1889 to 1898. Crooks also amassed a career on-base percentage of .386 despite a Batting average of just .240, due to large part to the high walks totals he compiled.

Crooks was well known in his era as an extremely patient hitter, often fouling off many pitches until he got one that he could hit. This approach led him to draw many walks (also, "bases on balls", or BB), in fact, he held the record for walks by rookie second basemen as well, when he walked 96 times for the Columbus Solons of the American Association in 1890. He held this record until Jim Gilliam of the Brooklyn Dodgers walked 100 times in 1953. Despite hitting just .213 in 1892, he walked a league-leading 136 times put his on-base percentage (OBP) at .400, good for fifth in National League. He also became the Major League single-season record holder in that category, a title he held until Jimmy Sheckard walked 147 times in 1911. That total remained the St Louis Browns/Cardinals single-season franchise record until 1998, when Mark McGwire walked 162 times. The next season, while batting just .237, Crooks' league-leading 121 BB put his OBP at .408.In addition to playing for Columbus, Crooks also had stints with the Washington Senators, Louisville Colonels, and the St. Louis Browns on two occasions. During his first tenure, he was named as their player-manager, in 1892 on an interim basis twice that season. His short managerial career produced a record of 27 wins and 33 losses, with the team finishing a distant 11th place in the National League standings.Jack died at the age of 52 in St. Louis, Missouri and was interred at Valhalla Cemetery.

List of Los Angeles Dodgers coaches

The following is a list of coaches, including position, year(s) of service(s), who appeared at least in one game for the Los Angeles Dodgers National League franchise also known previously as the Brooklyn Dodgers.

List of Los Angeles Dodgers seasons

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the second most successful franchise in the National League and the third-most successful and second-most wealthy in Major League Baseball after the New York Yankees. The franchise was formerly based in Brooklyn and known originally as the "Grays" or "Trolley Dodgers" after the trams which supporters had to avoid to enter games. Later it became known successively as the "Bridegrooms", "Superbas", "Dodgers" and "Robins"; the present "Dodgers" was firmly established in 1932.

The franchise has won the World Series six times and lost a further 13, and like the Yankees and Cardinals have never lost 100 games in a season since World War I, with their worst record since then being in 1992 with 63 wins and their best records ever being in 1953 with 105 wins and both 1942 and 2017 with 104. Their most successful period, between 1947 and 1966 with ten World Series appearances and only two seasons with 71 or more losses (one of them the year they moved to Los Angeles after a dispute over stadium funding), was famous for the Dodgers becoming the first Major League Baseball team to incorporate African American players, led by Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella.

Marv Breeding

Marv Eugene Breeding (May 8, 1934 – December 31, 2006) was an American professional baseball second baseman. He played four seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators, and Los Angeles Dodgers between 1960 and 1963.Breeding graduated from Jesuit High School in New Orleans, and then played shortstop for the baseball team at Samford University (then called Howard College). He also was a guard for the basketball squad and place-kicker for the football team whose quarterback then was Bobby Bowden. His slick fielding abilities and a quick bat prompted him to sign with the Baltimore Orioles in 1955.

Breeding reached the major leagues in 1960 with the Orioles, spending three years with them before moving to the Washington Senators and Los Angeles Dodgers. His most productive season came in 1960 as the regular second baseman for Baltimore, when he posted career-highs in batting average (.267), home runs (3), runs (69), RBI (43), hits (147), doubles (25), stolen bases (10) and games played (152), including seven three-hits games. His 117 singles ranked him ninth in the American League.

Before the 1963 season Breeding was sent to the new Washington Senators in a five-players deal, playing at third and second bases. Then, in the midseason he was traded to the Dodgers. While in Los Angeles, Breeding served as a backup for injured Jim Gilliam (2B) and Maury Wills (SS). He sat the bench as a member of the Dodgers in their four-game sweep over the New York Yankees during the 1963 World Series.

In a four-season majors career, Breeding was a .250 hitter with seven home runs and 92 RBI in 415 games. After that, he played in the minor leagues for the Dodgers, Orioles, Giants, Astros, White Sox, and Twins organizations.

Following his baseball retirement in 1968, Breeding worked as a manufacturer's representative and eventually started Marve Breeding Enterprises, which included M&B Industries machine shop in Decatur. In February 2006, he was selected to the Samford Baseball Hall of Fame.

Breeding died in his home at the age of 72.

NationBuilder

NationBuilder is the world's most-used software for politics, serving over 9,000 customers in 112 different countries.

NationBuilder is a mission-driven company dedicated to breaking down barriers to leadership so that anyone, anywhere can lead. Leaders of campaigns, political parties, brands, nonprofits, advocacy groups, and universities use NationBuilder to grow their communities and move people to action. Since its public launch in 2011, the platform has served more than 150,000 leaders in over 100 countries -- and, today, is the world's most used software for politics.

Most people use NationBuilder to win their election, raise money, and/or advocate for their community. They can run their website, donations, email marketing, social media, and events all in one place. NationBuilder makes leadership accessible by providing organizing tools in one unified system. The company also works with state offices to keep their voter files updated.The software has been used by the Donald Trump 2016 presidential campaign, by Emmanuel Macron in the 2017 French presidential election along with six other french presidential candidates, by Jagmeet Singh and by both official Brexit campaigns.NationBuilder was founded by Jim Gilliam in October 2009 and is based in Los Angeles.

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