Former Seattle Mariners general manager Pat Gillick, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, found his niche and stuck with it.
Gillick, a left-handed pitcher in college, said he knew he had to find another way to stay in the game after five years in the minor leagues. He found it in the front offices of four major league teams, winning 1992 and 1993 titles with Toronto and a 2008 title with Philadelphia.
Gillick’s teams posted winning records in 20 of his 27 seasons as a general manager and advanced to the postseason 11 times.
“It was pretty clear my arm wasn’t going to get me to the majors,” Gillick said. “Then I guess luck took over.”
Gillick began his front-office career in 1963 as assistant farm director with the Houston Astros, moved to the New York Yankees system in 1974 as coordinator of player development, and in 1976 moved to the expansion Blue Jays, becoming vice president of player personnel and later vice president of baseball operations.
Gillick’s signature deal was the trade in 1990 that sent Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez from the Blue Jays to the San Diego Padres for Alomar and Joe Carter.