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Dave Dombrowski

Dave Dombrowski
File:Dave Dombrowski 2011.jpeg
Dombrowski in 2011.
Born (1956-07-27) July 27, 1956 (age 63)
Alma mater Western Michigan University
Occupation President, CEO, general manager
Years active 1978–present
Employer Detroit Tigers
Spouse(s) Karie Dombrowski
Children Darbi, Landon

David Dombrowski (born July 27, 1956) is the president, CEO, and general manager of the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB).


Chicago White Sox

Dombrowski began his career with the Chicago White Sox in 1978, as an administrative assistant in their minor league organization.[1] He moved up the ladder to assistant general manager to Roland Hemond by his late 20s, but was purged during Ken Harrelson's one-year reign in 1986 as the White Sox front-office boss.

Montreal Expos

Dombrowski joined the Montreal Expos front office as director of player development for the 1987 season under Bill Stoneman, and on July 5, 1988, he became, at age 31, Montreal's general manager—the youngest in MLB at the time.[2]

Dombrowski built up the Expos farm system during his term.[citation needed] The team enjoyed .500 or better seasons in 1988–90 but struggled on the field in 1991.[citation needed] Concurrently, the National League expanded to 14 teams, with two new franchises to begin play in 1993. One of those teams, the Florida Marlins, recruited Dombrowski to become its first general manager; he was appointed on September 19, 1991.

Florida Marlins

Dombrowski spent more than a decade in Miami, working under owners H. Wayne Huizenga and John W. Henry. Although he built a sound minor league system, the Marlins, with Jim Leyland as their manager, achieved their first great success—the 1997 NL pennant and world championship—with a team composed of many high-salaried players signed as free agents.[citation needed] The following year, Dombrowski presided over Huizenga's mandated fire sale of those veteran players, and the Marlins failed to reached a .500 winning percentage in each of Dombrowski's final four years with the franchise. In November 2001, Dombrowski left Florida to become the president of the Detroit Tigers.[3] Nevertheless, after Henry sold the club in early 2002, the Marlins managed to rebuild behind a nucleus of young players, and in 2003, with a roster consisting chiefly of players Dombrowski had acquired,[4] won the World Series.

Dombrowski hired Jim Leyland as manager of the Marlins in 1996. The two had previously worked together with the Chicago White Sox in the early 1980s - Dombrowski as assistant general manager and Leyland as third base coach.[5]

Detroit Tigers

For the 2002 season, his first with the Tigers after being hired by owner Mike Ilitch, Dombrowski was to serve as president and chief executive officer of the rebuilding Tigers. Incumbent general manager Randy Smith would continue in his role, reporting to Dombrowski. However, when Detroit lost its first six games in 2002, Dombrowski quickly fired both Smith and manager Phil Garner.[6] Dombrowski assumed the general manager's role himself, becoming the first person to serve as both president and GM for the Tigers since Jim Campbell held both titles from 1978 to 1983.[7]

In 2003, the Tigers lost an American League-record 119 games, one fewer loss than the modern MLB record set by the 1962 New York Mets. Three years later, the 2006 Tigers, led by manager Jim Leyland, won their first AL pennant since their championship season of 1984. Along the way, they won the AL wild card, defeated the favored[citation needed] New York Yankees in four games in the division series, then swept the Oakland Athletics in the American League Championship Series. In the 2006 World Series, they were defeated in five games by the St. Louis Cardinals.

In addition to bringing Leyland out of semi-retirement,[8] Dombrowski presided over the acquisition and development of a corps of hard-throwing young pitchers,[citation needed] and signed free agents such as catcher Iván Rodríguez, left-handed pitcher Kenny Rogers, and outfielder Magglio Ordóñez.

In 2012, the Tigers reached their second World Series by sweeping the New York Yankees in 4 straight games. The Tigers were then swept by the San Francisco Giants in 4 straight games, losing the World Series.

Record as general manager

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Win % Finish Result
MON 1988 41 40 .506 3rd in NL East -
MON 1989 81 81 .500 4th in NL East -
MON 1990 85 77 .525 3rd in NL East -
MON 1991 64 81 .441 Left midseason -
MON Total 271 279 .493
FLA 1993 64 98 .395 6th in NL East -
FLA 1994 51 64 .443 5th in NL East -
FLA 1995 67 76 .469 4th in NL East -
FLA 1996 80 82 .494 3rd in NL East -
FLA 1997 92 70 .568 2nd in NL East Defeated Cleveland Indians in 1997 World Series.
FLA 1998 54 108 .333 5th in NL East -
FLA 1999 64 98 .395 5th in NL East -
FLA 2000 79 82 .491 3rd in NL East -
FLA 2001 76 86 .469 4th in NL East -
FLA Total 627 764 .451 1 playoff appearance, 1 pennant and 1 World Series title
DET 2002 55 100 .355 5th in AL Central -
DET 2003 43 119 .265 5th in AL Central -
DET 2004 72 90 .444 4th in AL Central -
DET 2005 71 91 .438 4th in AL Central -
DET 2006 95 67 .586 2nd in AL Central Lost to St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 World Series.
DET 2007 88 74 .543 2nd in AL Central -
DET 2008 74 88 .457 5th in AL Central -
DET 2009 86 77 .528 2nd in AL Central -
DET 2010 81 81 .500 3rd in AL Central -
DET 2011 95 67 .586 1st in AL Central Lost to Texas Rangers in 2011 ALCS.
DET 2012 88 74 .543 1st in AL Central Lost to San Francisco Giants in 2012 World Series.
DET 2013 93 69 .574 1st in AL Central Lost to Boston Red Sox in 2013 ALCS.
DET 2014 90 72 .556 1st in AL Central Lost to Baltimore Orioles in 2014 ALDS.
DET Total 938 1000 .484 5 playoff appearances and 2 pennants
Total 1816 2063 .468 6 playoff appearances, 3 pennants and 1 World Series title

Personal life

Dombrowski grew up in Palos Heights, Illinois, and graduated from Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn, Illinois.[9][10]

Dombrowski briefly attended Cornell University, where he was a member of the Big Red football team. He later transferred to Western Michigan University, where he earned a degree in business administration in 1979.[1][11] Dombrowski would later be the recipient of Western Michigan University's Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998.[10][12]

He is married to Karie Dombrowski (née Ross), who worked as an ESPN reporter from 1988 to 1990. They met in 1992 while he was serving as general manager of the Florida Marlins and Karie was a reporter at WTVJ in Miami.[13] The two were married in 1995 in Oklahoma City. They have two children, Landon and Darbi, and reside in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "David Dombrowski". Archived from the original on 30 July 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2011. 
  2. ^ Lawson, Earl (23 July 1988). "Los Angeles amazes Lasorda". Ocala Star-Banner. p. 4D. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Dombrowski leaves Marlins to head Tigers," 5 November 2001,
  4. ^ Jonah Keri writes, "Though [Dombrowski] left before the next championship, the 2003 World Series-winning Marlins also had Dombrowski's fingerprints all over them." See
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Tigers Dismiss Garner And Smith," New York Times, 9 April 2002,
  7. ^ "Winless Tigers Chop from Top," St. Petersburg Times, 9 April 2002,,4180053&hl=en.
  8. ^ Greenberg, Jon (23 June 2006). "Tigers getting ferocious under Leyland". Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^

External links

Preceded by
Bill Stoneman
Montreal Expos general manager
Succeeded by
Dan Duquette
Preceded by
Franchise created
Florida Marlins general manager
Succeeded by
Larry Beinfest
Preceded by
Don Smiley
Florida Marlins president
Succeeded by
David Samson
Preceded by
Mike Ilitch
Detroit Tigers president
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Randy Smith
Detroit Tigers general manager
Succeeded by