Monday, June 24, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #554 - Bruce Kimm

  • Bruce Kimm was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1969. Bruce played in the minors in the White Sox organization from 1969-1972.
  • After the 1972 season Kimm was traded to the California Angels. He never played for the Angels -- during spring training in 1973 Bruce was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Bobby Brooks.
  • Bruce played in the Detroit system from 1973-1975.
  • In 1976 Bruce and rookie sensation Mark Fidrych developed a great rapport. Kimm was Mark's personal catcher for much of the season. Bruce batted .263 in 162 at bats in his rookie season.
  • Kimm didn't fare nearly as well in 1977. He caught Fidrych's six consecutive wins in June, but after Fidrych went down with a rotator cuff injury, the Tigers sent Bruce to AAA. Bruce ended up batting .080 in 14 games for the Tigers. Note: All six of Fidrych's wins were complete game victories -- no wonder he hurt himself.
  • Kimm spent 1978 and most of 1979 in AAA Evansville. On August 30, 1979 Bruce was purchased by the Chicago Cubs. He played for the Cubs in September and batted .091 (1 for 11) in nine games.
  • After the 1979 season Bruce was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the Rule 5 Draft. Kimm got more playing time in 1980 than he did in all of his previous major league seasons combined. Bruce played in 100 games and batted .243.
  • Bruce hurt his shoulder in winter ball after the 1980 season. The White Sox dropped Kimm from the major league roster. Kimm's shoulder wasn't healed yet, so he retired from baseball. Bruce spent 1981 driving a delivery truck and selling life insurance.
  • The Tigers hired Bruce to manage in the minors in 1982. In 1983 he managed the Cedar Rapids Reds of the Midwest League.
  • The Reds brought Bruce to the major league club as a  coach in 1984. He was the bullpen coach under manager Vern Rapp in 1984. Bruce stayed on after Rapp was fired and Pete Rose was hired as manager. Kimm was the bullpen coach for three years and then was promoted to third base coach in 1987. Bruce coached third base for the Reds in 1987 and in 1988.
  • Kimm was the bench coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates under Jim Leyland in 1989 and 1990. He then coached third base for the San Diego Padres in 1991 and 1992.
  • Kimm managed in the minors from 1993-1995, then became the bench coach under Leyland in Florida in 1996. Bruce remained as the bench coach of the Marlins through the 1997 season.
  • Kimm was the bench coach for the Colorado Rockies in 1999 and then was an advance scout for the club in 2000. Bruce went back to the minors to manage in 2001. His Des Moines Cubs finished 83-60 and Kimm was named the Best Minor League Managerial Prospect by the Sporting News.
  • The Cubs got off to a bad start in 2002. Manager Don Baylor was fired and Bruce was named as the Cubs manager on July 5. The Cubs went 33-46 under Kimm and he wasn't retained after the season.
  • Bruce was the third base coach for the White Sox in 2003. He retired from baseball after the season.
  • Kimm was one of the founding owners of Perfect Game, a scouting and college preparatory enterprise. A video from the company is below:

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