This Day In Baseball History- November 20, 1985- Pittsburgh Pirates hire Jim Leyland as their new manager. 1985 was a terrible year to be a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. The Pirates finished 57-104 last place- 43 1/2 games out of first place. It was even worse than that – they had veteran players who were obviously disengaged- they didn’t seem to care. It was so bad the Pirates brought the architect of their 1960 and 1971 teams- Joe L. Brown back as General Manager the second half of the season. Brown started to clean house. Chuck Tanner- who was the right manager for the 1979 Pirate championship team- had clearly lost control of this bunch of players. Tanner was fired at the end of the season. The Pirates first move puzzled many people hiring a man named Syd Thrift who had been out of baseball for nine years- and was running a real estate business at the time as their new general manager. Thrift then hired a relatively unknown third base coach for the Chicago White Sox named Jim Leyland as their new manager. I had remembered the name Jim Leyland from an article I had read a year or so before. He was a baseball lifer who had spent most of his baseball career as a minor league player and then manager before joining the coaching staff of Tony LaRussa in Chicago. But these moves turned out to be just what the Pirates needed. Thrift made some great trades- and the 41 year old Leyland came in with a lot of energy and the Pirates slowly started turning things around. Under Leyland the Pirates would win three National League Eastern Division titles from 1990-1992. He would leave after the 1996 season for Florida where he would manager the Florida Marlins to a World Series title in 1997.