Lefebvre was the 1965 National League Rookie of the Year; he hit .250 with 12 home runs and 69 RBI and the Dodgers won the World Series. He started at second base in the All-Star Game in 1966. Lefebvre also played four seasons in Japan, from 1973 until 1976, for the Lotte Orions. He was a big league manager from 1989–1993, and briefly again in 1999, and was formerly the hitting coach with the Cincinnati Reds.
Lefebvre became only the second player, after Johnny Logan with the 1964 Nankai Hawks, to have won a World Series (1965 Dodgers) and a Japan Series with the 1974 Lotte Orions. In 1965, he was part of an infield for the Dodgers that consisted of four players who were switch hitters. The others were Jim Gilliam, Wes Parker, and Maury Wills.
Managerial and coaching career
Lefebvre was first hired as a major league manager by the Seattle Mariners in November 1988, with a two-year contract at $150,000 annually, with incentives and a team option for a third year. In his second season in 1990, Seattle won 77 games and drew over 1.5 million in home attendance at the Kingdome. In 1991, the Mariners posted their first-ever winning record at 83–79 (.512) and drew over 2.1 million, but Lefebvre's contract was not extended; he was succeeded by assistant coach Bill Plummer. Lefebvre finished with a record of 233 wins and 253 losses. Lefebvre was soon hired by the Chicago Cubs in November, and led them during the 1992 and 1993 seasons; he was released again after a posting a winning record, Chicago was 84–78 (.519) in the 1993 season. With the Milwaukee Brewers, he was the interim manager for the final seven weeks of the 1999 season.
In addition to managing, Lefebvre has spent time coaching in the Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants, Cincinnati Reds, and San Diego Padres organizations. He coached the China National Baseball Team (Olympics) in 2005, the 2006 World Baseball Classic, and 2008 Olympics.
Outside of baseball
Lefebvre and President George W. Bush at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic Games
Jim has been in the game at all levels, player, manager, development, hitting coach, and has been working with coaches and young players for many years. He traveled the world working with coaches and players. Coached the Chinese National Team in the Beijing, Olympics. He talks some great stuff, a must listen.
Some areas discussed: Managing games. Making line ups. Teaching hit to all fields. Use your strengths, running, hit to gaps and more. Take fear away from players. All about attitude. Every at bat counts. Training bat speed, exit speed to catch up to velocity in pitching. Teaching rotation to get more speed. Thinking as a hit, have a plan. Utilizing 2 machines, heavy balls, Tires, Speed at close distance and more. Hitting through the ball. Utilizing ground force. Pick ball up early, track and hit were pitched. Discussed Tony La Russa and things he learned from him. Canseco and McGuire he talks about how they trained, prepared. Preparation in BP very important. Brian Mind Institute. Technology help or hurt, how to use it? When you fail that is step to greatness. Prepare, Anticipate and Execute. Working the big inning. Velocity matters. Put ball in play hard, Hit the Fastball, Under the ball flight, Master the bottom of the zone. There is so much more, I had 10 pages of notes. Web site: www.baseballoutsidethebox with lots of audio shows, 3 years of shows. Twitter @baseballout lots of details, videos, help coaches, etc.
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