A left-handed pitcher on the 1958 NCAA champion, University of Southern California (USC) squad, Pat Gillick spent five years in the Baltimore Orioles system. Arm troubles would force the California native into a front office position with the Houston Colt .45’s when he was just 26.
After a decade in scouting with Houston, Gillick accepted a position as coordinator of player development with the New York Yankees in 1974, before becoming the Toronto Blue Jays’ vice-president of player personnel on August 16, 1976. In his 18 years in Toronto, Gillick transformed an expansion club into World Champions. Dave Stieb, Jimmy Key, George Bell, Fred McGriff, Tom Henke, Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar are among the cornerstone players he drafted or traded for during his reign as general manager.
With Gillick as GM, the Jays recorded 11 consecutive winning seasons (1983 to 1993), captured five division titles (1985, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993) and won two World Championships (1992, 1993). For his efforts, he was voted Canada’s Baseball Man of the Year twice (1983, 1991), UPI’s American League Executive of the Year three times (1985, 1992, 1993) and The Sporting News’ Co-Sportsman of the Year (along with Cito Gaston) in 1993. He became the sixth member of the Blue Jays Level of Excellence in 2002.
Since his departure from the Jays, Gillick has led three more franchises to post-season appearances: Baltimore (1996, 1997), Seattle (2000, 2001) and Philadelphia (2007, 2008). He’s the only GM in major league history to guide four different clubs to the playoffs. When the Philadelphia Phillies won the Fall Classic in 2008, Gillick added a third championship to his resume. On July 24, 2011 he was Inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. Pat won the Roland Hemond Award for achievement in scouting and player development at the Baseball America awards gala in December 2016.