Leon "Bull" Durham (born July 31, 1957) is a former first baseman and outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for 10 seasons. Durham was a longtime minor league hitting coach, and most recently served as the assistant hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers during the 2017 season. Durham played with the St. Louis Cardinals (1980, 1989), Chicago Cubs (1981–1988), and Cincinnati Reds (1988). Durham batted and threw left-handed.
|First baseman / Outfielder|
|Born: July 31, 1957|
|May 27, 1980, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 17, 1989, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Runs batted in||530|
|Career highlights and awards|
Durham graduated from Cincinnati Woodward High School in 1976 where he was a high school All-American selection his senior year, posting a .385 batting average with 16 home runs and an 11-3 record as a pitcher.
Durham was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1976 amateur draft in the first round and 15th overall.
Durham made his major league debut on May 27, 1980 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was traded that off-season to the Cubs for Bruce Sutter, and his career took off. He hit 10 home runs and drove in 55 runs in a strike-shortened 1981 season, then followed that with a stellar 1982 season in which he had a .312 batting average with 22 homers, 90 RBI, and 28 stolen bases. He won the Silver Slugger Award as the Cubs' left fielder and made the All-Star team. He followed that with a hot first half in 1983 of 12 homers and 55 RBI and another All-Star Game appearance, but was injured shortly after the break and missed the rest of the season.
In 1984, the Cubs made several team-improving deals. They acquired Bob Dernier and Gary Matthews from the Phillies, moved Keith Moreland to right field, and Durham to first base. Durham essentially supplanted Bill Buckner, who was then dealt to the Red Sox for Dennis Eckersley. Durham responded with another stellar year by hitting .279 with 23 homers and 96 RBIs as the Cubs won the National League East. For good measure, Durham homered in both Games 4 and 5 of the 1984 NLCS. Durham would follow that season with three more consecutive 20-homer seasons, including a career-high 27 in 1987. However, his RBI totals decreased from 96 in 1984 to 75, 65, and 63, respectively.
In 1988, Durham got off to a miserable start, hitting only .218 with 3 homers after 21 games. Mark Grace began to see more time at first, and the Cubs traded Durham to the Cincinnati Reds for Pat Perry amid rumors of drug use. Durham played in only 21 games for the Reds that season before entering into drug and alcohol rehabilitation. He tried a comeback with the Cardinals the next season, but only went 1 for 18 before retiring.
In a 10-year Major League career, Durham compiled a lifetime batting average of .277, hitting 147 home runs and driving in 530 runs.
Leon Durham is widely remembered for an error that he made at first base during the 1984 National League Championship Series. In the bottom of the seventh inning in the decisive fifth game between Durham's Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres, the Padres sent pinch-hitter Tim Flannery to face the Cubs' ace pitcher Rick Sutcliffe.
Through the top of the sixth inning, the Cubs had a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Padres cut the Cubs' lead to 3-2 with a pair of singles by Alan Wiggins and Tony Gwynn, a walk to Steve Garvey, and sacrifice flies by Graig Nettles and Terry Kennedy. The bottom of the seventh inning kicked off with Carmelo Martínez walking on four pitches from Sutcliffe. Garry Templeton then sacrificed Martínez to second, setting things up for Tim Flannery. Martinez would then score when Flannery hit a sharp grounder that trickled through Leon Durham's legs for an error.
Groundball hit to Durham...RIGHT THROUGH HIS LEGS!!! Here comes Martínez, we're tied at three!
The error became known as the "Gatorade Glove Play" because before taking his position in the field that inning, Gatorade was spilled on Durham's glove. Some Cub fans believe the Gatorade spilled on Durham's glove amounted to a curse, similar to the goat and Bartman curses of Cub lore.
The play would also turn out to be very similar, in style and effect, to Bill Buckner's much-discussed error in the 1986 World Series. The coincidental connection between these two events is that Durham had been moved from the outfield to first base during the 1984 season, replacing Buckner after the Cubs traded him to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Dennis Eckersley. Buckner's error, like Durham's, would be seen as turning a post-season series around. The same joke even circulated for both incidents: That they had been despondent, jumped in front of a moving truck, and "the truck went between their legs".
The Padres wound up winning the game 6-3 to reach the World Series for the first time ever. The Cubs had won the first 2 games of the series (1984 marked the last time that the League Championship Series was a best-of-five series) over the Padres.
Durham previously served as the hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers' Triple-A affiliate the Toledo Mud Hens. On October 21, 2016, he was named the assistant hitting coach of the Detroit Tigers, after 17 seasons as a coach with the Mud Hens.Durham is presently in his second year as the hitting coach for the Louisville Bats the Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds .
Durham has been married for more than 30 years to his wife Angela; they have 3 children: Ashley Lauren, Ian, and Lance. They have three granddaughters and one grandson. Durham and his wife currently reside in Cincinnati, Ohio.
| National League Player of the Month
The twenty-third edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was played in 1980. It was held from February 2 through February 7 with the champions teams from Dominican Republic (Tigres del Licey), Mexico (Naranjeros de Hermosillo), Puerto Rico (Vaqueros de Bayamón) and Venezuela (Leones del Caracas). The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice. The games were played at Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, D.R., which boosted capacity to 14.000 seats, and the first pitch was thrown by Antonio Guzmán, by then the President of Dominican Republic.1981 Chicago Cubs season
The 1981 Chicago Cubs season was the 110th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 106th in the National League and the 66th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished the first-half in last place at 15-37, 17½ games behind the Philadelphia Phillies, and the second-half in fifth place at 23-28, six games behind the eventual NL East Champion Montreal Expos in the National League East. It was also the final season for the Cubs under the Wrigley family ownership, as the Tribune Company took over the club late in the year.1981 St. Louis Cardinals season
The St. Louis Cardinals 1981 season was the team's 100th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 90th season in the National League. 1981 was a season of two significant anomalies: A change in the playoff format, which created the first-ever Divisional Series with a qualification variant that existed only for that season, and the players' strike, which truncated the regular season. Despite finishing 59-43, good for the best overall record in the National League East, the strike set up the scenario where the Cardinals actually missed the playoffs. The regular season was split into halves to tally teams' records separately in each half of the season, and because the Cardinals finished in second place in each half, they did not qualify for the 1981 playoffs. Major League Baseball reverted to the previous playoff format the following season, and the Cardinals qualified for that postseason.
First baseman Keith Hernandez won a Gold Glove this year.1982 Chicago Cubs season
The 1982 Chicago Cubs season was the 111th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 107th in the National League and the 67th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fifth in the National League East with a record of 73-89, 19 games behind the eventual National League and 1982 World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals. For the first time in more than a half a century, the Cubs were not owned by a member of the Wrigley family. Instead, it was the first full season for the Cubs under the ownership of the Tribune Company, owners of the team's broadcast partner WGN TV and Radio, and for Cubs TV viewers the first season ever for them to see and hear Harry Caray on the broadcast panel.1982 Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The 1982 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 53rd midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 13, 1982, at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, home of the Montreal Expos of the National League. The game resulted in a 4–1 victory for the NL, and Cincinnati Reds shortstop Dave Concepción was named the MVP.
It is notable for being the first All-Star Game ever played outside the United States. This would be the only All-Star Game to be played in Montréal, as the Expos would leave in 2005 to become the Washington Nationals before having an opportunity to host another. Four members of the Expos were voted into the starting lineup. The flyover at the conclusion of the National Anthems was done for the first time by a national air squadron other than those from the United States Air Force or Air National Guard as the Snowbirds from the Canadian Forces Air Command flew over Olympic Stadium, marking the first of their two All-Star appearances; they would perform the flyover for the 1991 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Toronto nine years later. It is also the last All-Star Game in which the manager of the runner-up for any league pennant managed in place of the manager of the defending league champions due to the latter's unemployment; Billy Martin of the Oakland Athletics managed in place of Bob Lemon, who had been fired by the New York Yankees, Martin's former team.1983 Chicago Cubs season
The 1983 Chicago Cubs season was the 112th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 108th in the National League and the 68th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fifth in the National League East with a record of 71–91.1984 Chicago Cubs season
The 1984 Chicago Cubs season was the 113th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 109th in the National League and the 69th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished with a record of 96-65 in first place of the National League Eastern Division. Chicago was managed by Jim Frey and the general manager was Dallas Green. The Cubs' postseason appearance in this season was their first since 1945.
The Cubs pitching staff included 1984 Cy Young Award winner Rick Sutcliffe, and the lineup included 1984 Baseball Most Valuable Player Award winner second baseman Ryne Sandberg. Frey was awarded Manager of the Year for the National League for leading the Cubs to 96 victories. The Cubs were defeated in the 1984 National League Championship Series by the San Diego Padres three games to two.1984 National League Championship Series
The 1984 National League Championship Series was played between the San Diego Padres and the Chicago Cubs from October 2 to 7. San Diego won the series three games to two to advance to the World Series. The 1984 NLCS was the first postseason series ever for the Padres since the franchise's beginning in 1969, and the first appearance by the Cubs in postseason play since the 1945 World Series. The series took a disastrous turn for Chicago after a promising start, which contributed to the popular mythology of the "Curse of the Billy Goat." The series was also the last best-of-five NLCS. In 1985, the League Championship Series changed to a best-of-seven format.
Due to a strike by major league umpires, the first four games of the NLCS were played with replacement umpires. The umpires originally scheduled to work the series were John Kibler, Frank Pulli, Harry Wendlestedt, Ed Montague, Billy Williams and Bob Engel. Kibler worked Game 5 behind the plate with fellow veterans Paul Runge, John McSherry and Doug Harvey.1985 Chicago Cubs season
The 1985 Chicago Cubs season was the 114th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 110th in the National League and the 70th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League East with a record of 77–84. The season had opened with high hopes as the Cubs had won the NL East title the year before. However, injuries were a major factor as four of the Cubs' starting pitchers were on the disabled list at the same time.1986 Chicago Cubs season
The 1986 Chicago Cubs season was the 115th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 111th in the National League and the 71st at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fifth in the National League East with a record of 70–90.1987 Chicago Cubs season
The 1987 Chicago Cubs season was the 116th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 112th in the National League and the 72nd at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished sixth and last in the National League East with a record of 76–85, 18½ games behind the division and pennant-winning St. Louis Cardinals.1988 Chicago Cubs season
The 1988 Chicago Cubs season was the 117th season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 113th in the National League and the 73rd at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished fourth in the National League East with a record of 77–85, 24 games behind the New York Mets.
The first game under lights at Wrigley Field was on August 8 (8/8/88), against the Philadelphia Phillies. With the Cubs leading 3–1, in the middle of the 4th inning, a powerful thunderstorm rolled in. The game was suspended, and finally called at 10:25PM.
Since the rules of Major League Baseball state that a game is not official unless 5 innings are completed, the first official night game in the history of Wrigley Field was played on August 9, when the Cubs defeated the New York Mets 6 to 4.1989 St. Louis Cardinals season
The St. Louis Cardinals 1989 season was the team's 108th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 98th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 86-76 during the season and finished 3rd in the National League East division.
Shortstop Ozzie Smith and third baseman Terry Pendleton won Gold Gloves this year.
On September 29, team owner August A. Busch, Jr. died at the age of 90.Bill Bordley
William Clarke Bordley (born January 9, 1958) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Bordley was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014. In 2011, he was named Vice President for Major League Baseball Security investigations. Bordley was a Presidential Secret Service Agent, assigned to the White House, from 1995-2001. In 2002, He was promoted to Attaché Agent in Charge to Russia at the American Embassy in Moscow.Bull (nickname)
Bull, The Bull and Da Bull are nicknames.
Those so named include:
Nicknamed "Bull" unless otherwise noted.Bill Adams (Australian footballer) (1900–1973), Australian rules footballer
Donnis Churchwell (born 1936), American former National Football League player
Bull Connor (1897–1973), American politician infamous for opposing desegregation in Birmingham, Alabama, in the 1960s
Johnny Davis (American football) (born 1956), former National Football League player
Ed Durham (1907–1976), American baseball pitcher
Leon Durham (born 1957), American baseball first baseman
Sammy Gravano (born 1945), former underboss of the Gambino crime family
William Halsey, Jr. (1882–1959), US Navy fleet admiral
Terry Jenkins (born 1963), English darts player nicknamed "The Bull"
Brooks Lawrence (1925–2000), American Negro National League and Major League Baseball pitcher
Frank McCaffrey, college football player and 1917 head football coach of Fordham University
Bull Montana (1887–1950), American professional wrestler and actor Lewis Montagna
William "Bull" Nelson (1824–1862), US Army major-general during the American Civil War and US Navy officer prior to the war
Greg Noll (born 1937), American surfing pioneer nicknamed "Da Bull"
Bull Polisky (1901–1978), American football player
Alan Richardson (footballer born 1940), Australian footballer
Franz Roth (born 1946), German former footballer nicknamed "the Bull"
Edwin Vose Sumner (1797–1863), American Civil War Union Army general
Tsang Kin-shing (born 1957), Hong Kong politicianBull Durham (disambiguation)
Bull Durham may refer to:
Bull Durham, a 1988 American film
Bull Durham (pitcher) (1877-1960), American baseball pitcher
Ed Durham (1907-1976), American baseball pitcher nicknamed "Bull"
Leon Durham (b. 1957), American baseball first baseman nicknamed "Bull"
Bull Durham Smoking Tobacco
Bull Durham (music), (1964), Instrumental 12-string guitar piece, by Glen Campbell
Bull Durham brand cigarettes, produced by Commonwealth BrandsGolden sombrero
In baseball, a golden sombrero is a player's inglorious feat of striking out four times in a single game.
|AL Championship Series|
|NL Championship Series|
|AL Division Series|
|NL Division Series|