Landis in 1962
March 9, 1934|
October 7, 2017 (aged 83)|
James Henry Landis (March 9, 1934 – October 7, 2017) was an American professional baseball player. Landis played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a center fielder on six teams from 1957 through 1967. While playing eight seasons for the Chicago White Sox, he was an American League (AL) All-Star in 1962 and an AL Gold Glove Award winner five consecutive seasons. Landis is considered to be one of the best defensive center fielders in major-league history.
Landis attended Richmond High School in Richmond, California where he starred in baseball as a third baseman and Contra Costa College in San Pablo, California. He was signed by the White Sox as an amateur free agent in 1952. Landis served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict in 1954 and 1955, and was stationed in Alaska before beginning his major league career.
Major League career[edit | edit source]
Landis began his career in the major leagues playing for the Chicago White Sox in 1957, where he remained for seven more seasons. He helped the "Go-Go White Sox" win the 1959 American League Pennant, hitting .272 with 26 doubles. He led the American League that season with 13 sacrifice hits and 426 and 420 putouts as a center fielder and an outfielder, and hit .292 during the 1959 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In the 1960 season, he hit .253 and had 23 stolen bases. In 1961, he hit .283 with 22 home runs, 8 triples, 85 RBIs, and won his first of five consecutive American League Gold Glove Awards. In 1962, he played in two All-Star games. In 1963, Landis led the American League in fielding with a .993 fielding average both as a center fielder and an outfielder.
Landis was traded on January 20, 1965 to the Kansas City Athletics, where he played one season. He also played one season for the Cleveland Indians in 1966. In 1967, he finished his 11-year major league career playing for three teams: The Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers, and the Boston Red Sox.
Known more for his defensive abilities, Landis posted a .989 fielding percentage at all three outfield positions in his major league career.
Later years[edit | edit source]
Landis went into the safety sign business for several years after playing professional baseball and also coached for Babe Ruth League baseball. He made his home in Napa, California, with his wife Sandy (née Foster).
Death[edit | edit source]
Legacy[edit | edit source]
The Chicago White Sox announced on September 30, 2000, that Jim Landis and 26 other former and active White Sox players were members of the Chicago White Sox All-Century Team. He was honored by fans in Chicago as "The Best All-Time Chicago Center Fielder".
References[edit | edit source]
- Society of American Baseball Research (SABR), Jim Landis
- Wilcox, Andy (November 15, 2011). "Spending time with a local legend". Napa, CA. http://napavalleyregister.com/sports/spending-time-with-a-local-legend/article_a8f1e5d6-101a-11e1-9e9b-001cc4c03286.html. Retrieved November 18, 2011.
- Sportsdata. Midsummer Classics: Celebrating MLB's All-Star Game. "there were two games a year from 1959 to 1962" ..."all players who were named to the AL or NL roster were credited one appearance per season." Retrieved February 26, 2015 
- "Landis 50 year Anniversary". Napa, CA. December 3, 2006. http://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/announcements/article_79f05692-caeb-5a3c-8c43-898105d99221.html. Retrieved October 27, 2010.
- Chris Kuc (October 7, 2017). "Jim Landis, center fielder for Go-Go White Sox, dies at 83". Chicago Tribune. http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/ct-white-sox-jim-landis-dies-spt-1008-20171007-story.html. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
- "Jim Landis". Napa, CA. October 16, 2017. http://napavalleyregister.com/obituaries/jim-landis/article_14b0c7e3-174c-53cf-a95d-19b9dd0be4be.html. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
- James, Marty (October 20, 2017). "Gold Glover Jim Landis". Napa, CA. http://napavalleyregister.com/sports/college-and-pro/pro-baseball-was-just-fun-for-five-time-gold-glover/article_119808e0-8098-5228-bf30-dba0e7ea8804.html#tncms-source=home-latest-1. Retrieved October 21, 2017.
[edit | edit source]
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
- Baseball Almanac interview with Jim Landis
- Jim Landis at Find a Grave
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