On this day in 1942, Jim Lefebvre was born in Inglewood, California. He was 20 years old when the Dodgers signed him as an amateur free agent in 1962 and spent eight seasons in Los Angeles, winning the 1965 NL Rookie of the Year award and making an All Star appearance in 1966.
Playing in Los Angeles during the 60's and 70's had at least one major perk that Lefebvre took advantage of: In 1967 he played one of the Joker's henchmen in a couple of episodes of the original Batman TV show and appeared as a "Native" in an episode of Gilligan's Island. During the 80's he made appearances on M*A*S*H, St. Elsewhere and Knight Rider, among others. (h/t IMDB via Wikipedia)
Back on the baseball field, Lefebvre was a two-time former manager and was working as the Brewer hitting coach when Phil Garner was let go in 1999 and guided the Brewers to a 22-29 record down the stretch before being replaced by Davey Lopes for the 2000 season. Lefebvre may not have been the perfect man for the job, but the Brewers almost certainly wouldn't have been worse under him than they were under Lopes and his successor, Jerry Royster.
Lefebvre hasn't managed in the majors since his interim stint with the Brewers ended, but he was the skipper of the Chinese team in the 2008 Olympics.
Lefebvre turns 70 today. With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday to:
- 2009 Brewer Carlos Corporan, who turns 28.
- Francisco Rodriguez, who turns 30.
- 2006-07 Brewer Kevin Mench, who turns 34.
- 2008 Brewer Eric Gagne, who turns 36.
- 1971 Brewer Jim Hannan, who turns 72.
- 1971 Brewer Dick Schofield, who turns 77.