Black is a graduate of Mark Morris High School in Longview, Washington.
Black played two years at Lower Columbia College in Longview. For his junior and senior years, he played at San Diego State.
Black pitched fifteen seasons in the majors, most notably for the Kansas City Royals, winning 121 games in his career and was part of the starting rotation for the Royals team that won the 1985 World Series. He also played professionally for the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants.
Black was the starting pitcher for the Royals during the famous George Brett pine tar incident, and was the pitcher who gave up Reggie Jackson's 500th career home run and Mike Piazza's first career home run.
In between, Black pitched for the Leones del Caracas of the Venezuela Winter League and was a member of the 1982 Caribbean Series champion team.
Black was the pitching coach of the Anaheim Angels/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim from 2000-2006 under Manager Mike Scioscia. As the Angels pitching coach, Black won a World Series ring in 2002 against the San Francisco Giants.
In October 2006, Brian Sabean, general manager of the Giants, interviewed Black for the Giants' vacant managerial position.
After the position went to Padres manager Bruce Bochy, Black became a candidate for the Padres job, and was officially hired on November 8, 2006. Despite a last place finish for the Padres in 2008, Black returned to finish his contract in 2009. During the 2009 season, Black was given a contract extension for the 2010 season with a club option for 2011. During the 2010 season, the Padres gave Black another three-year extension through 2013, with club options in 2014 and 2015. In 2010, Black presided over the worst collapse in Padres history when they went on a ten-game losing streak with a little over a month left in the season, went 12-16 in September and squandered a 6 1/2 game lead over the Giants for the NL West title. Black nonetheless was the winner of the 2010 National League Manager of the Year Award, edging Dusty Baker of the Cincinnati Reds in voting by a single point. Black is only the third former full-time pitcher to win a Manager of the Year Award, joining Tommy Lasorda and Larry Dierker.
On June 15, 2015, Black was fired after eight-plus seasons with the Padres after the team started 2015 at 32–33 and was six games behind in the National League West. He finished with a record of 649 wins and 713 losses.
On October 28, 2015, The Washington Post reported that the Washington Nationals intended to hire Black as their new manager following the 2015 World Series, replacing fired manager Matt Williams. However, it was later reported that he would not be getting the job. Black turned down the Nationals offer, which he considered to be too low.
On November 25, 2015, it was announced that Black would be returning to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to serve as a special assistant to the new General Manager, Billy Eppler. Black previously served as a pitching coach for the team from 2000-2006.
On November 7, 2016, the Colorado Rockies announced they hired Black as their new manager. On April 3, 2017, Black won on his Rockies debut, defeating the Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Day, notching his 650th win as a manager.As of August 14, 2017
Black was born to Canadian parents in Northern California. He has a wife, Nanette and two daughters. His wife is a pediatric ICU nurse. His older daughter attended Oregon State University and is currently an interior designer while his younger, a collegiate gymnast, graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in math and kinesiology in 2014.