top of page

Bruce Edward Kimm

Bruce Edward was born to Lyle and Mary Alice Kimm on June 29, 1951, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His father was a third-generation German immigrant whose family first made roots in Eastern Iowa in 1866.


Kimm attended Iowa's baseball powerhouse: Norway High School, where he played on six of the school's twenty state championships squads. He was named a First-Team catcher on the Iowa All-State team in 1968, and to the Second Team in his senior year. He also played with the Cedar Rapids American Legion team, a group that won the Iowa American Legion tournament in 1967, and on which Kimm was named Most Valuable Player.


Off of the diamond, Kimm was equally adept at basketball, scoring 46 points in an Iowa high school tournament game against Paulina, which tied a state post-season single game record that stood for eleven years.


In 1969, the Chicago White Sox chose Kimm in the seventh round of the amateur draft, and sent him on a path that included stops in Duluth-Superior of the Northern League, and Appleton, Wisconsin. He reached the White Sox's AAA team in 1972, but in June he was returned to the AA team in Knoxville, Tennessee to improve his throwing. On September 1, 1972, Kimm’s future path veered to the west when he was sent to the California Angels as the mysterious “player to be named later” in trade earlier that year. Bruce never suited up for the Angels' franchise as he was traded to the Detroit Tigers during spring training in 1973 in a straight-up swap for Billy Brooks.


On May 4, 1976, Kimm made his Major League debut with Detroit in a game against the Minnesota Twins. The nation’s bicentennial was remarkable in so many ways, not the least of which came from baseball, in the person of Tigers pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. On May 15, Fidrych won his first Major League start in dominating fashion, tossing a complete game, two-hitter against the Cleveland Indians. The Fidrych-Kimm battery mowed down the American League, as the Tigers beat Bert Blyleven and Nolan Ryan in consecutive games, and then reeled off five consecutive wins, culminating in a nationally televised victory against the Yankees on June 28.


Kimm finished the 1976 season with a .263 average across 152 at-bats, including his sole Major League home run. The next year he hit only .080, and after fourteen games was sent down to AAA to regain his batting stroke. After the 1978 season he went back to Chicago, but this time to the Northside as a Cubs. In December he went back to the Southside as the White Sox claimed him in the Rule 5 draft. In 1980, Kimm played in 100 games for the Sox, hitting a respectable .243, but he played in his final professional game on September 19.


In 1982, the Detroit Tigers named Kimm manager of their single-A, Florida State League team. The next season he managed the Cedar Rapids Reds of the Midwest League, leading them to a 76-64 mark. He spent the next five years as third-base coach for manager Pete Rose and the Cincinnati Reds.


In 1989, Kimm served as confidant and bench coach to future Hall-of-Fame manager Jim Leyland in Pittsburgh. In 1991 and 1992, he coached for the San Diego Padres, and in 1993 managed the Southern League team in Greenville. In 1995, Kimm was named manager of the Orlando Cubs of the AA Southern League. The team’s 76-67 record was enough to earn him the league Manager-of-the-Year award. After one more season in Orlando, he rejoined Jim Leyland with the Florida Marlins as bullpen coach during their improbable World Series championship season.


After seasons with the Marlins and the Rockies, he was named manager of the Chicago Cubs AAA team in Des Moines. Kimm reached the Major Leagues once again on July 5, 2002, after the Cubs fired Don Baylor and promoted him as the team's manager. Chicago was already on its way to a losing record when Kimm took over, but despite this, The Sporting News listed him on their proverbial managerial ‘hot seat’ after the Cubs posted a 33-46 record under Kimm's leadership.


The Cubs fired Kimm after the season, and he returned to Des Moines to manage the Iowa Cubs for the 2002 season. He joined the White Sox as a third-base coach in 2003, but left the professional game for his home in Amana, Iowa.

11 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page