Jim Campbell (baseball executive)

Jim Campbell

Campbell at Tiger Stadium
Born: (1924-02-05)February 5, 1924
Huron, Ohio
Died: October 31, 1995(1995-10-31) (aged 71)
Lakeland, Florida

As general manager

As president

As chairman

James Arthur Campbell (February 5, 1924 – October 31, 1995) was an American baseball executive in Major League Baseball. He worked for the Detroit Tigers for 43 seasons from 1949 to 1992. He was the team's general manager from September 1962 to September 1983, its president from August 1978 to January 1990, and its chairman from January 1990 to August 1992. The Tigers won two World Series championships (1968 and 1984) during Campbell's tenure with the club. He was selected as the Major League Baseball executive of the year in 1968 and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1985.

Early years

Campbell was born in 1924 in Huron, Ohio, and played four sports at Huron High School. His father died after being injured in an electrical accident while Campbell was still in high school. Campbell enrolled at Ohio State University in 1942 and played freshman football. He served in the United States Navy Air Corps from 1943 to 1946 before returning to Ohio State He played as an outfielder for the Ohio State Buckeyes baseball team for three years before graduating in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in commerce.[1][2]

Detroit Tigers

Campbell was employed by the Detroit Tigers for 43 years from 1949 to 1992. He was hired in 1949 as the business manager of a farm club in Thomasville, Georgia. The stadium in Thomasville burned to the ground after the first game of Campbell's tenure. Campbell gained praise for keeping the team playing with borrowed uniforms and overseeing the prompt reconstruction of the stadium.[3]

Campbell was promoted to a position as the business manager of the Tigers' farm department in 1952. In 1957, Campbell became the team's business manager, and in 1959 he became a vice president.[4] In September 1962, at age 38, he became the team's general manager.[5]

Notable moves and accomplishments during Campbell's tenure as the Tigers' general manager include the following:

In August 1978, he also became the team's president.[12] In February 1982, Campbell underwent heart bypass surgery,[13] and he was hospitalized briefly in August 1983 after experiencing dizziness. In September 1983, and acting on his doctor's advice, Campbell stepped down as the team's general manager, hiring Bill Lajoie to replace him, but remained as the club's president.[14]

In February 1985, Campbell was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.[15] In January 1990, Campbell, at age 65, stepped down as the Tigers' president and hired Bo Schembechler to replace him.[16] (Schembechler had had retired as the Michigan Wolverines football coach weeks earlier.) Campbell remained as chairman and chief executive officer and continued to maintain an office at Tiger Stadium.[17] After owner Tom Monaghan agreed to sell the team to Mike Ilitch, Monaghan fired both Campbell and Schembechler in August 1992.[18]

Family and later years

Campbell was married in 1954 to Helene Grace Mulligan of Lakewood, Ohio. They were divorced in 1969.[2] Campbell later blamed his devotion to the Tigers for the divorce. He recalled in 1989: "I've worked for this club for 40 years, and I've had very few days off. I'm talking about weekends and everything."[19] After being fired in 1992, Campbell did not return to Tiger Stadium.[1] In October 1995, he suffered a heart attack in Lakeland, Florida, and died at the Lakeland Regional Medical Center at age 71.[20]


  1. 1 2 3 "Ex-Tigers boss Campbell dies at 71 (part 2)". Detroit Free Press. November 1, 1995. p. 5D via Newspapers.com.
  2. 1 2 Jeanne Mallett. "Jim Campbell". Society for American Baseball Research. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  3. George Puscas (November 1, 1995). "Campbell was a symbol of Tigers' feats". Detroit Free Press. p. 7D via Newspapers.com.
  4. "Jim Campbell Named Tiger Vice President". The News-Palladium. February 2, 1959. p. 12 via Newspapers.com.
  5. Jerry Green (September 28, 1962). "Campbell Named as Tiger GM". The News-Palladium. p. 16 via Newspapers.com.
  6. "Denny McLain". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  7. "The Best Boss". Detroit Free Press. November 23, 1968. p. 3B via Newspapers.com.
  8. "Tigers In No Hurry To Hire a New Pilot". Detroit Free Press. September 3, 1973. p. 1D via Newspapers.com.
  9. "Tigers draft Kirk Gibson, power hitter from MSU". Detroit Free Press. June 7, 1978. p. 1D via Newspapers.com.
  10. Jim Hawkins (June 13, 1979). "Sparky Anderson Hired". Detroit Free Press. p. 1 via Newspapers.com.
  11. "Rowdyism Shuts Tiger Bleachers: Sick and tired of it, Jim Campbell says". Detroit Free Press. June 18, 1980. p. 1 via Newspapers.com.
  12. "Tigers name GM Campbell president of the club, too". Detroit Free Press. August 30, 1978. p. 1D via Newspapers.com.
  13. Dolly Katz (February 3, 1982). "Tigers' Jim Campbell has heart surgery". Detroit Free Press. p. 3 via Newspapers.com.
  14. "Campbell loosens his reigns on Tigers". Detroit Free Press. September 27, 1983. pp. 1D, 4D via Newspapers.com.
  15. "locally". Detroit Free Press. February 21, 1985. p. 2D via Newspapers.com.
  16. "Bo joins the heavy hitters as Tigers' new president (part 1)". Detroit Free Press. January 9, 1990. p. 1D via Newspapers.com.
  17. "Bo joins the heavy hitters as Tigers' new president (part 2)". Detroit Free Press. January 9, 1990. p. 3D via Newspapers.com.
  18. "Campbell era ends for Tigers: Executive weathered game's changes". Detroit Free Press. August 4, 1992. p. 1C, 3C via Newspapers.com.
  19. John Lowe (February 21, 1989). "Good-Bye True Love: Campbell's career winds down". Detroit Free Press. p. 1D via Newspapers.com.
  20. "Ex-Tigers boss Campbell dies at 71 (part 1)". Detroit Free Press. November 1, 1995. p. 1D via Newspapers.com.

Preceded by
Rick Ferrell
Detroit Tigers general manager
Succeeded by
Bill Lajoie
Preceded by
John Fetzer
Detroit Tigers president
Succeeded by
Bo Schembechler
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 7/22/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.