Leon Durham was born on Wednesday, July 31, 1957, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Durham was 22 years old when he broke into the big leagues on May 27, 1980, with the St. Louis Cardinals. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Leon Durham baseball stats page.
"Leon Durham played for the Cubs from 1981 to 1988. He came to Chicago after the 1980 season along with third baseman Ken Reitz and infielder-outfielder Ty Waller from St. Louis for relief pitcher Bruce Sutter . Prior to the 1984 campaign, Durham tried two changes... with opposite results. During Spring Training that year, Durham switched from glasses to contact lenses. He had trouble with contacts, however, claiming that he 'wasn't really seeing what I should see.' Durham switched back to glasses, and felt more comfortable with them. 'I was very relaxed,' he says, 'and confident of what the pitchers were throwing at me.' Durham went on to clout 33 homers and knock in 99 runs that season. He wore glasses the rest of his career." Author Pete Cava in Tales from the Cubs Dugout (Sports Masters Publishing, 08/04/2000, Page 79)
Leon "Bull" Durham Autograph on a 1988 Fleer (#420)
Leon Durham Pitching Stats
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Leon Durham Hitting Stats
Leon Durham Fielding Stats
Leon Durham Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
Leon Durham Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1980 St. Louis Cardinals||10||$30,000.00||-||-|
|1981 Chicago Cubs||10||$32,500.00||-||-|
|1982 Chicago Cubs||10||$33,500.00||Stats||-|
|1983 Chicago Cubs||10||$300,000.00||Stats||-|
|1984 Chicago Cubs||10||$500,000.00||-||-|
|1985 Chicago Cubs||10||$800,000.00||-||-|
|1986 Chicago Cubs||10||$983,333.00||-||-|
|1987 Chicago Cubs||10||$1,183,333.00||-||-|
|1988 Chicago Cubs||10||$1,383,333.00||-||-|
|1988 Cincinnati Reds||10||" "||-||-|
|1989 St. Louis Cardinals||16||$175,000.00||-||-|
|Leon Durham Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Did you know that Leon Durham hit .312 in 1982 , the third highest batting average in the National League ( Top 25 ), the highest by any outfielder in the NL (2nd: Pedro Guerrero .302, 3rd: Dale Murphy .281) earning Bull the Silver Slugger Award - the first Chicago Cubs ' player in team history to win a Silver Slugger at any position .
Leon Durham played in two All-Star Games (
), had four consecutive twenty home run seasons (1984-1987), and converted from outfield to first base where he had three seasons with a top-five fielding percentage; however, he is often remembered for an error he committed during
of the 1984 National
League Championship Series
, one later dubbed the "Gatorade Glove Play", and described in amazing detail by columnist Fred Mitchell of The Chicago Tribune (02/22/1985,
Leon Durham Error | 1984 NLCS ( Game 5 ) | MLB Properties, LLC
Durham's Glove Took Bath In Playoff Before Cubs Did
MESA, ARIZ. — Nearly four months after the Cubs lost the National League pennant to the San Diego Padres, a curious account of what went on in the Cubs' dugout before the fifth playoff game has spilled forth.
Here is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the soggy truth of the matter that left Cub fans with an unquenched thirst for a World Series:
There are 10 minutes left before game time, the fifth and deciding contest of the League Championship Series at Jack Murphy Stadium. The winner will meet the Detroit Tigers in the World Series.
Ryne Sandberg , who would be named the league's Most Valuable Player a month later, fumbles around in the dugout for a swig of Gatorade. Sandberg , the two-time Gold Glove second baseman who committed only six errors all season, accidentally knocks over the ice cooler filled with Gatorade, soaking Leon Durham's first baseman's mitt.
Several Cub players and coaches watch in stunned amazement. Durham frantically clutches his glove with the tangy taste and asks coach Don Zimmer about this sticky situation, "What should I do, Zim ? Should I still use this glove or my other one?"
"I think you should go ahead and use that glove, anyway, Bull," Zimmer says. "It might bring you good luck."
Durham grabs a couple of towels and begins the process of trying to dry off his favorite glove. A hair dryer also is summoned from the clubhouse.
The game goes into the seventh inning with the Cubs leading 3-2 and Rick Sutcliffe on the mound. The Padres rally and Durham makes a pivotal error.
Pinch-hitter Tim Flannery's grounder crawls under the Bull's sweet-smelling glove for a two-base error. The Padres tie the game when Carmelo Martinez trots home from second. From that opening, the Padres go on to take a 6-3 lead with hits from Alan Wiggins , Tony Gwynn and Steve Garvey .
"The glove got heavy and sticky after the Gatorade spilled on it, but it didn't mess with the fingers on it," Durham said Thursday at the Cubs' training camp. He lost his salary arbitration hearing Wednesday, when the Cubs cited his error in the playoff game as a negative factor.
"I ain't going to put the blame on the glove or nothing," Durham said.
"It felt like it was about 100 degrees on the field by the seventh inning, so the glove dried out by then.
"But it is just strange, you know, the way things turned out. After the game was over and during the winter, I thought about it a lot. Especially about the part when Zimmer said it might bring me good luck to keep that same glove. That's kind of eerie."
"All I can remember is the Gatorade flowing all over everywhere and Bull trying to dry his glove off with towels," Zimmer said. "But we didn't get beat by that error. People make too big a deal about that error. He could have had three gloves on and he wasn't going to catch it. Sometimes, things just aren't meant to be."
Ferrie Bueller's Day Off | Paramount Pictures | Released: June 11, 1986
On June 5, 1985 , Leon Durham was playing first base, holding Paul Zuvella on the bag, in the top of the eleventh inning. Rafael Ramirez hit a two-run homer later in the inning, Braves won, 4-2. Why is this loss at Wrigley Field noteworthy? It was the game Ferris Bueller attended in the iconic, truly classic movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off ( IMDB Trivia).