Federoff Was Much More Than Leyland’s Mentor

From SABR member Nick Diunte at Examiner.com on August 9:

“He was the best manager I ever had,” said current Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland in the Detroit News. Al Federoff was Leyland’s manager during his 1964 rookie campaign in Lakeland, Fla. It was also Federoff who rescued Leyland a few years later when the Tigers weren’t sure what to do with him while filling out their minor league rosters. “Leyland was my good luck charm. I took him everywhere I could,” said Federoff during a 2008 interview I conducted with him from his home in Taylor, Mich.

While Federoff has received notoriety for mentoring Leyland, many are unaware that he was a sure-handed, light-hitting second baseman for the Tigers in the early 1950’s. He died in Glibert, Ariz. last week at the age of 87.

Federoff was one of the fastest players in major league baseball in the 1950’s, clocking a 3.8 second time from home to first batting right handed, placing him sixth in major league baseball according to the September 3rd, 1952 issue of The Sporting News.

Read the full article here: http://www.examiner.com/baseball-history-in-national/al-federoff-was-much-more-than-leyland-s-mentor

Originally published: August 9, 2011. Last Updated: August 9, 2011.