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Leon Durham

First baseman / Outfielder
Born: July 31, 1957 (1957-07-31) (age 52)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
May 27, 1980 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
September 17, 1989 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Career statistics
Batting average     .277
Home runs     147
Runs batted in     530
Career highlights and awards

Leon "Bull" Durham (born July 31, 1957 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is a former first baseman and outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for 10 seasons. Durham played with the St. Louis Cardinals (1980, 1989), Chicago Cubs (1981-1988), and Cincinnati Reds (1988). Durham batted and threw left-handed.



Durham graduated from Cincinnati Woodward High School in 1976 where he was a high school All-American selection his senior year, posting a .385 batting average with 16 home runs and an 11-3 record as a pitcher. Durham was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1976 amateur draft in the first round and 15th overall.

Durham made his major league debut on May 27, 1980 with the St. Louis Cardinals.

In a 10 year Major League career, Durham compiled a lifetime batting average of .277, hitting 147 home runs and driving in 530 runs. In 1982, Durham won a Silver Slugger Award as an outfielder. He was named to the All-Star team in 1982 and 1983 as a Chicago Cub.

Leon Durham is currently the hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers AAA affiliate the Toledo Mud Hens of the International League.

Career Hitting[1]
1,067 3,587 992 192 40 147 522 530 106 444 679 .277 .356 .475 .831

1984 National League Championship Series

Leon Durham is widely remembered for an error that he made at first base during the 1984 National League Championship Series. In the bottom of the seventh inning in the decisive fifth game[2] between Durham's Chicago Cubs and the San Diego Padres, the Padres sent pinch-hitter Tim Flannery to face the Cubs' ace pitcher Rick Sutcliffe.

Through the top of the sixth inning, the Cubs had a 3-0 lead. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Padres cut the Cubs' lead to 3-2 with a pair of singles by Alan Wiggins and Tony Gwynn, a walk to Steve Garvey, and sacrifice flies by Graig Nettles and Terry Kennedy. The bottom of the seventh inning kicked off with Carmelo Martínez walking on four pitches from Sutcliffe. Garry Templeton then sacrificed Martinez to second, setting things up for Tim Flannery. Martinez would then score when Flannery hit a sharp grounder that trickled through Leon Durham's legs for an error.

The error became known as the "Gatorade Glove Play" because before taking his position in the field that inning, Gatorade was spilled on Durham's glove. Some Cub fans believe the Gatorade spilled on Durham's glove amounted to a curse, similar to the goat and Bartman curses of Cub lore.

The play would also turn out to be very similar, in style and effect, to Bill Buckner's much-discussed error in the 1986 World Series. The coincidental connection between these two events is that Durham had been moved from the outfield to first base during the 1984 season, replacing Buckner after the Cubs traded him to the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Dennis Eckersley. Buckner's error, like Durham's, would be seen as turning a post-season series around. The same joke even circulated for both incidents: That they had been despondent, jumped in front of a moving truck, and "the truck went between their legs".

The Padres wound up winning the game 6-3 to reach the World Series for the first time ever. What was especially frustrating was the fact that the Cubs had a 2 games to 0 lead (1984 marked the last time that the League Championship Series was a best-of-five series) over the Padres.

In other media

See also


External links

Preceded by
Tony Gwynn
National League Player of the Month
May 1984
Succeeded by
Ryne Sandberg

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