Gillick at the 2008 Phillies World Series parade.
August 22, 1937 |
As general manager
Toronto Blue Jays (1978â€“1994)
Philadelphia Phillies (2014â€“2015)
|Career highlights and awards|
3Ã— World Series champion (1992, 1993, 2008)
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Vote||81.2% (13 of 16)|
|Election Method||Expansion Era Committee|
No matter how much technology changes scouting, no matter how much free agency and big TV contracts change the business of baseball, I hope and pray that the heart of the game will never change.
When you talk about the American League, you think of Fenway. When you talk about the National League, you think of Wrigley and the fan base that they have in Chicago.
We fought like heck for every player and every advantage, but we knew we were part of something bigger than ourselves. To me, that is what baseball is all about. I hope it is always what baseball is all about.
If I was involved with the NFL, I'd seriously consider adopting some of the rules used in Canada. I've heard, unofficially, of course, some NFL club owners have talked about adding a feature or two. The NFL went for the two-point conversion. Professional sport is entertainment, and the CFL, I believe, is ahead of the NFL in that regard.
There's always, I guess, a philosophy that if you come in, you want to change all the parts, you want to change everything over. I've always tried to preach that consistency and continuity are very, very important. So if I know the baseball people, and I know they're competent and could do the job, I don't see any reason to replace them.
Safeco Field is a lot like a National League park. Because of that, we're more of a pitching-defensive type club. Anaheim and Oakland – and even Texas – are more offensive oriented. We're a club that doesn't blow anybody out, but at the same time we don't get blown out much. We're in most of the games.
I was trying to land an 18-year-old strapping first baseman from Blanco, Texas, population 200. His name was Willie Upshaw. It turned out there were only three scouts who knew about Willie – Dave Yocum and I working for the Yankees, and Al LaMacchia from the Atlanta Braves.
Texting is a lot like an answering machine. If you don't want to talk to somebody, it's like screening your calls. To me, it's a way of communication, but not one that I favor.
Building a baseball team is like building a house. You look for the best architects, the best builders – and then you let them do their jobs.
You need to have camaraderie in the clubhouse. Wherever you're working, be it a baseball team or at a business, you want to walk in there and say, 'Geez, it's great to be at work. Let's go get 'em,' as opposed to walking in there knowing there's going to be a commotion.
For me, the most important thing is running a good clubhouse. The X's and the O's – you sit up in the stands and, for the most part, a lot of fans go to the game and they know what's going to happen. You're going to hit and run, steal, put a pitcher in, take a pitcher out.
My label in Toronto was 'Stand Pat' and I think that was a fair assessment. I tried to be patient, but if a trade came along – big or small – that I thought should be made, I would make it.
Philadelphia loves its team, and being able to win a World Series for the city, fans, players and our Phillies organization meant so much to me.
At the high school level, the coaches get these kids in revenue-driven sports and take them away from baseball. There's so much pressure on these kids to even play spring football. We need to get the African-American players back in the game, which I think would make it not only a better game, but more exciting and entertaining for everyone.
What was the first name of the Houston club? It wasn't the Astros. It was the Colt .45s. A lot of guys now will say Colt 45 is a beer. But it was also a pistol, and it went right with Texas.
Baseball is about talent, hard work, and strategy. But at the deepest level, it's about love, integrity, and respect.