I was just reading about Pat Gillick’s background, via the Baseball Hall of Fame site -
Born Aug. 22, 1937, in Chico, Calif., [Pat] Gillick – the son of minor league pitcher Larry Gillick and actress Thelma Daniels – began his baseball career as a left-handed pitcher. He was a member of the University of Southern California team that won the College World Series in 1958, and he pitched for five seasons in the Orioles’ minor league system.
“He had a major league curveball and was a fierce competitor,” said former USC coach Rod Dedeaux. “But also he was a student of the game… Very astute in many fields besides baseball.”
Gillick retired as a player in 1963 when he became the assistant farm director for the Houston Colt 45′s. After scouting for the Astros for several years, Gillick was hired as the Yankees’ scouting director in 1974, then became the Blue Jays assistant general manager just prior to their inaugural season of 1977. In Toronto, Gillick quickly ascended to the general manager’s role in 1978 – building the Jays into a powerhouse over the course of the next seven seasons. In 1985, Toronto won its first American League East title, followed up with two more division crowns in 1989 and 1991 and won back-to-back World Series championships in 1993 and 1993.
From 1983-93, the Blue Jays won at least 86 games every season.
“Baseball players take a long time to develop,” said Gillick, who once went almost two years without making a trade. “People believe they cannot afford to be patient, (but) I think it pays off.”
After leaving the Blue Jays following the 1994 season, Gillick took over as the Orioles’ general manager in 1996 and led Baltimore to two straight American League Championship Series appearances. He left Baltimore following the 1998 season before landing with the Mariners in 2000, orchestrating four winning seasons and ALCS appearances in both 2000 and 2001 as general manager.
“Pat has an exceptional memory – able to memorize flight numbers, phone books,” said former Astros executive Tal Smith of Gillick, who acquired the nickname “Wolley Segap” – Yellow Pages spelled backwards – for his ability to memorize the phone book. “But intelligence can only take you so far. Pat has succeeded because of two other factors: His perseverance and people skills.”
After a three-year break from the top spot, Gillick returned as the Phillies’ general manager in 2006. Two years later, the Phillies gave Gillick his third World Series title as a general manager.
To me, this is the perfect career route that I want my G.M. to have: Former professional player, former scout, and then former assistant G.M.
If the Yankees and Brian Cashman part ways, I would hope that they look for someone with this background.
Who would that be? How about someone who I suggested over two years ago: Jerry DiPoto.
After his pro-pitching career, in 2003, DiPoto was a scout for the Boston Red Sox. In 2005, he became the head of scouting for the Colorado Rockies. When Josh Byrnes, who Jerry had known since his days as a Rockies player, became the General Manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, he took DiPoto with him and Jerry was Arizona’s Director of Scouting and Player Personnel. After Byrnes was fired, DiPoto was named interim General Manager.
When Kevin Towers was named the new Diamondbacks GM, Jerry Dipoto was offered the opportunity to remain with the Diamondbacks – and he presently oversees the club’s scouting and player development departments.
I would bet, if the Yankees asked, DiPoto would be given permission to speak to them about becoming their GM. Of course, this all assumes that the Yankees and Brian Cashman part ways before someone else grabs DiPoto.