Tag Archives: joe torre

Happy Birthday Joe Torre!!!

Happy Birthday Joe Torre!!!

Joe Torre turns 74 years old today.

More known by today’s baseball fan as the manager that led the New York Yankees to multiple World Series wins over the last 15 years, Joe Torre was also a fantastic baseball player.

A guy that was able to play numerous infield positions, Torre was valuable to the rosters he was a part of during his 18 seasons as a player in the big leagues.

A 9-time All-Star, Torre was a steady contact hitter that collected 2,342 career hits alongside his lifetime batting average of .297 displays his amazing consistency at the plate.

Torre’s best season in the majors came in 1971 when he won the league’s MVP award. With his 230 hits, 34 doubles, 22 home runs, 137 RBI and .363 batting average, Torre was one of the league’s best. And the hardware proved it – a batting title and MVP trophy!

Torre never made the postseason as a player, but he made up for that during his coaching career. After unsuccessful stints in New York (Mets), Atlanta, and St. Louis, Torre took over as the Yankees skipper in 1996. He promptly won 4 World Series titles over the next five seasons.

Happy Birthday Mr. Torre!!!

1975 Topps Set Card 46/660 – #565 – Joe Torre, Mets

1975 Topps Set Card 46/660 – #565 – Joe Torre, Mets

Progress: 46/660

Player Name:  Joe Torre

Card Number:  565

Team:  New York Mets

Position:  3rd Base

Image Style: Posed Portrait

Years In The Major Leagues:  18 years, 1960-77

Notes From His 1975 Season:   1075 was Torre’s first season with the Mets.  In 114 games, he hit .247 with 89 hits.  Of his hits, 16 were doubles, 3 were triples, and 6 were home runs.  Torre drove in 35 runs for the Mets while scoring 33 times.

Notes From Career:  A 9-time All-Star, batting champion, and League MVP, Joe Torre has a solid 18-season career.  He 2,342 hits in 2,209 career games.  He connected for 344 doubles and 252 home runs en route to 996 runs scored and 1,185 RBI.

565

1975 Topps Set Card 45/660 – #209 – 1971 Most Valuable Players

1975 Topps Set Card 45/660 – #209 – 1971 Most Valuable Players

Progress: 45/660

Player Name:  Vida Blue, Joe Torre

Card Number:  209

Team:  Oakland A’s, St. Louis Cardinals

Image Style: reprint baseball cards

How they got there:

Vida Blue and Joe Torre were the MVP’s of their respective leagues at the conclusion of the 1971 baseball season.  Blue led the A’s with his 24-8 record that included 24 complete games and 8 shutouts.  He had a league-low ERA of 1.82 and struck out 8.7 batters per 9 innings.  Torre led the NL with 230 hits in 161 games during the 1971 season.  He also led the league in RBI, batting average, and total bases with 137, .363, and 352 respectively.

209

Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, And Bobby Cox Going Into Hall of Fame

Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, And Bobby Cox Going Into Hall of Fame

From MLB.com

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — For the first time in the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, three of the greatest managers of a generation — Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa — will be inducted on the same day this coming summer.

The three, who accumulated 7,558 regular-season wins, 17 pennants and eight World Series titles, were elected unanimously by the 16-member Expansion Era Committee during a lengthy meeting on Sunday. The announcement by Hall of Fame chairman Jane Forbes Clark was made on Monday morning as the annual Winter Meetings began.

Cox spent 25 of his 29 seasons as a big league manager with the Braves, winning the 1995 World Series and 14 consecutive division titles. Torre, who managed for 29 seasons, won six pennants and four World Series with the Yankees in an eight-year period from 1996-2003. La Russa managed for 33 years, winning it all once with the A’s and twice with the Cardinals. They all were notified of their elections at about 8:30 a.m. ET.

“I am thrilled that these great managers during my tenure as Commissioner will join the legends of our game in the halls of Cooperstown,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “In careers of consistent excellence and incredible longevity, Bobby, Tony and Joe all left indelible impacts on our national pastime. For decades, these three individuals not only led great ballclubs, but instilled in their teams a brand of class and professionalism that baseball fans admired. It is fitting that Bobby, Tony and Joe will share our game’s highest honor together.

“Joe and Tony have been outstanding members of our staff at Major League Baseball in recent years. On behalf of all of their colleagues with MLB, it is an honor to congratulate them and their families on this milestone. I look forward to a remarkable day for all of baseball next July 27 in Cooperstown.”

La Russa, Torre and Cox rank third, fourth and fifth in managerial victories in Major League history, each winning more than 2,000 games. Only Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763) won more games than La Russa (2,728), Cox (2,504) and Torre (2,326).

They will enter the Hall of Fame on the second day of Induction Weekend, to be held July 26-27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

“When I think of these guys, I think of the respect they’ve had from their players, their fans and their organizations,” said Phil Niekro, a Hall of Famer who pitched for both Cox and Torre, was briefly a teammate of La Russa’s, and was a member of the election committee. “They are men of integrity and character. I was honored and privileged to play for a couple of these guys.

“We’re in Disney World right now. This is a Magical Kingdom. I think we just honored the three kings among the managers. It’s a magical day for each and every one of them, and we’re so excited about having them in the Hall of Fame.”

Cox’s election is matched up with the candidacies on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot of two Braves pitchers, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, who pitched together for Cox for a decade and between them spent 28 seasons with Atlanta. Maddux totaled 355 wins and Glavine won 305.

“I’m still getting goose bumps,” Cox said. “I’m excited to be in Cooperstown in July and get inducted. It’s the greatest honor you can have in baseball. I’m going in with great company. I’m just hoping that Glav and Mad Dog can be up there on the stage with me. They were two of the guys who got me there, or helped get me there. That would be the final, finishing touch, going in with those two.”

Cox, Torre and La Russa were among 12 people on the Expansion Era ballot, which included another landmark skipper, Billy Martin; players Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Dave Parker, Dan Quisenberry and Ted Simmons; Marvin Miller, the influential executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association; and iconic Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner.

None of the other nine received more than six of the 16 possible votes. Like all Hall of Fame elections, a candidate’s name needs to appear on at least 75 percent of the ballots to be elected. On this committee, that was 12 votes. Each member could vote for a maximum of five candidates.

Miller’s name had previously been on ballots studied by several permutations of the Veterans Committee, and he missed election by a single vote on the first Expansion Era ballot three years ago. He died last year. Steinbrenner, Martin, Concepcion, Garvey, John and Simmons were also on the previous Expansion Era ballot.

But the selection of the three managers provided an epic highlight. Monday’s announcement assured that the 2014 induction weekend will be one of the most widely attended and covered ever.

Torre and Cox had each attended one recent induction each, while La Russa has never been to one.

“You realize you want to offer thanks to the people who made it possible,” said La Russa, whose managing career began with the White Sox under owner Jerry Reinsdorf and is now a consultant to Major League Baseball on on-field issues. “You want to thank the family. There have been a lot sacrifices by my wife and daughter. You go to the park early and you stay late. And finally, you realize who is sitting behind you. I can categorically state I don’t think I will ever feel comfortable as a member of that club.”

“I can’t tell you how I’m going to feel,” said Torre, who also managed the Mets, Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers and is currently MLB’s executive vice president of baseball operations. “All I know, and Tony just said it, when you see who else is there, players who have obviously been inducted before you and come up every year. It’s obviously special to them. I’ve admired these players even though I might have played or managed against some of them. So I don’t know how I’m going to feel, but I can tell you it will be a feeling I’ve never had before.”

Cox compiled a 2,504-2,001 (.556) record in his 29 seasons, which included four managing the Blue Jays. His Braves won the 1995 World Series while capturing five National League pennants during his 25 years with Atlanta. Cox led Atlanta to a record 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005.

La Russa had a 2,728-2,365 (.536) record in 33 seasons, winning the World Series with the A’s in 1989 and the Cardinals in 2006 and ’11. He also guided Oakland to three American League pennants (1988-90) in 10 seasons and the Cards to three NL pennants (2004, ’06 and ’11) in 16 years. La Russa also spent eight seasons managing the White Sox, taking them to the AL Championship Series in 1983.

Following an 18-year playing career in which he had a .297 batting average and one batting title, Torre posted a 2,326-1,997 record, good for a .538 winning percentage. Torre led the Yankees to Series titles in 1996, ’98, ’99 and 2000 (in addition to 100-win seasons in 1998 and from 2002-04), and six AL pennants. He spent his first 14 seasons a manager with the Mets, Braves and Cardinals, and finished his career managing the Dodgers in 2010. Torre took his teams in New York and Los Angeles into the playoffs every year from 1996-2009.

The 16-member electorate charged with the review of the Expansion Era ballot consisted of Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Whitey Herzog, Tommy Lasorda, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, Niekro, and Frank Robinson; Major League executives Paul Beeston of the Blue Jays, Dave Montgomery of the Phillies, Reinsdorf and Andy MacPhail, formerly of the Twins, Cubs and Orioles. They were joined by historians Steve Hirdt of Elias Sports Bureau, Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle, Jack O’Connell, secretary-treasurer of the BBWAA, and Jim Reeves, recently retired from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

“It’s a great day for baseball,” said Robinson, MLB’s executive vice president of baseball development. “They are three outstanding, quality guys.”

“It was amazing in our discussion,” Reinsdorf said. “Everyone said you could throw a blanket over them. It was almost like one. They’re so similar.”

“It’s a wonderful, wonderful class,” said John Schuerholz, the Braves’ club president who was general manager beginning in 1990, when Cox returned to the Atlanta bench for the remainder of his career. “I have a wonderful partner and dear friend elected to the Hall of Fame in Bobby Cox and two friends in Tony and Joe, who are on the instant-replay committee with me, so I’ve gotten to know them a lot better through that. I’m delighted for all of them.”

Happy Birthday Joe Torre!!!

Happy Birthday Joe Torre!!!

Joe Torre turns 73 years old today.

More known by today’s baseball fan as the manager that led the New York Yankees to multiple World Series wins over the last 15 years, Joe Torre was also a fantastic baseball player.

A guy that was able to play numerous infield positions, Torre was valuable to the rosters he was a part of during his 18 seasons as a player in the big leagues.

A 9-time All-Star, Torre was a steady contact hitter that collected 2,342 career hits alongside his lifetime batting average of .297 displays his amazing consistency at the plate.

Torre’s best season in the majors came in 1971 when he won the league’s MVP award. With his 230 hits, 34 doubles, 22 home runs, 137 RBI and .363 batting average, Torre was one of the league’s best. And the hardware proved it – a batting title and MVP trophy!

Torre never made the postseason as a player, but he made up for that during his coaching career. After unsuccessful stints in New York (Mets), Atlanta, and St. Louis, Torre took over as the Yankees skipper in 1996. He promptly won 4 World Series titles over the next five seasons.

Happy Birthday Mr. Torre!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Rank ‘Em – Joe Torre VS Bobby Cox VS Tony LaRussa

Hall Of Fame Debate: Rank ‘Em – Joe Torre VS Bobby Cox VS Tony LaRussa

I think that it is safe to say that in time the trio of Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony LaRussa will all be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

If I was a betting man, and this was a bet with any kind of odds, I would bet the house on this one.  Each of these managers left an impression on the sport, on the fans of the teams that they coached, and maybe most important – they left impressions on the teams and fans that were battling against them.

I could comfortably state that Torre, Cox, and LaRussa are the cream of the crop as it relates to successful major league managers from their eras.

With that all being said – how easy is it to say which one is better?

It’s not.

Because what the manager does is not measured in numbers.  At least not in any numbers in which they are awarded for good decisions and penalized for bad ones.

But the good ones, the really good ones, seem to get the best out of their best players and the best out of the ones that are lower on the totem pole as well.

Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, and Tony LaRussa can all take great pride in the team and individual successes of the players that the managed as they certainly had a hand in that success.

For tonight’s ‘Hall of Fame Debate’ I am asking for you to give me the order in which these three great coaches should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.  They’re all going to get in – it’s just a matter of time before that happens.

But, who deserves to get in first, second, and third??

While you cannot judge all that a manager does by the numbers his teams put up, it is nice to compare both players and managers in similar categories.

So, here is a side-by-side-by-side comparison of the trio:

  Cox Torre LaRussa
Years 30 30 35
Wins 2504 2326 2728
Losses 2001 1997 2365
Win % 0.556 0.538 0.536
100-win seasons 6 4 4
1st place finishes 15 13 11
Last place finishes 4 4 2
Division Championships 15 13 11
League Championships 4 6 6
World Series Titles 1 4 3
Manager Of The Year 4 2 4

*

The numbers stack up pretty well for these three guys, huh?  For me, the only thing that really stands out is how close to a .500 winning percentage each manager is over the course of their careers.  Deemed as uber-successful, they are all very close to 50%.

And now, time for me to divulge my rankings.

First, a little chatter about each guy:

  • Cox – you cannot ignore the consecutive seasons in which his Braves teams won their division.  I find it to be one of the most impressive feats in baseball history.
  • Torre – he had to manage a ton of egos during his run as the manager of the Yankees. He did it with grace, and it looked like all of his players valued his style.
  • LaRussa – he did it twice, with two clubs.  And he did it with the game’s greatest players on his roster both times (Canseco & Pujols).  His bullpen use is highly criticized, but it resulted in a lot of wins.

But who ranks the highest? 

If you had to select the order in three consecutive induction years in which these three former managers would be inducted, what order would you place them in??

Cox.Torre.LaRussa

Here is my ranking:

  1. Tony LaRussa
  2. Bobby Cox
  3. Joe Torre

When I think back to LaRussa, I never saw him as a ‘losing’ manager.  He took hold of the A’s and Cardinals franchises and took them both to the pinnacle.  I witnessed both Cox and Torre manage losing clubs before they got their ‘breaks’ with the Braves and Yankees.  And while they both had a ton of success, they also had ridiculous lineups – Cox with his Hall of Fame pitching rotation and Torre with his All-World offenses.

For me, LaRussa did the most with the least.  He gets top-billing in my book!!!

LaRussa

How about you?  How would you rank these managers if you had to pick the order in which they entered the Hall of Fame?

Yes, it is splitting hairs as all are deserving – but it is fun nonetheless!!!

Thanks for reading.

Happy Birthday Joe Torre!!!

Happy Birthday Joe Torre!!!

Joe Torre turns 72 years old today.

More known by today’s baseball fan as the manager that led the New York Yankees to multiple World Series wins over the last 15 years, Joe Torre was also a fantastic baseball player.

A guy that was able to play numerous infield positions, Torre was valuable to the rosters he was a part of during his 18 seasons as a player in the big leagues.

A 9-time All-Star, Torre was a steady contact hitter that collected 2,342 career hits alongside his lifetime batting average of .297 displays his amazing consistency at the plate.

Torre’s best season in the majors came in 1971 when he won the league’s MVP award.  With his 230 hits, 34 doubles, 22 home runs, 137 RBI and .363 batting average, Torre was one of the league’s best.  And the hardware proved it – a batting title and MVP trophy!

Torre never made the postseason as a player, but he made up for that during his coaching career.  After unsuccessful stints in New York (Mets),  Atlanta, and St. Louis, Torre took over as the Yankees skipper in 1996.  He promptly won 4 World Series titles over the next five seasons.

Happy Birthday Mr. Torre!!!

1968 Topps Game – Joe Torre

1968 Topps Game – Joe Torre

Most baseball fans know Joe Torre as the former World Series winning New York Yankees manager.

Many know him for his tenure as skipper of the Dodgers, Mets, and Cardinals.

I was first introduced to Joe Torre as the leader of the Atlanta Braves.

Very few of us recognize just how solid of a major league player that Joe Torre was…

Joe Torre was a big-leaguer for 18 seasons.  He amassed 2,300+ hits, 250+ home runs, drove in 1,100+ runs, and almost scored 1,000 runs.

Torre was the runner-up for the Rookie Of The Year award in 1961.  He won the MVP Award in 1971.  He was a 9-time All-Star and also won a Gold Glove Award in 1965.  Torre won a batting title in 1971 with his .363 average.

Most importantly, Joe Torre was a solid teammate.  Players that suited up alongside Torre thought the world of him and his attitude towards the game.  Torre played hard each and every day, and he was a great role model for the younger players.

Progess – 25/33

My First Time – Joe Torre – September 25, 1960

My First Time – Joe Torre – September 25, 1960

The Setting – County Stadium.  Pittsburgh, PA.

From Torre – ‘I was done with minor league ball so I went to Milwaukee to wait for my brother’s season to end.  I was just hanging around the club when they said, ‘Since you’re here, we’re going to put you on the roster for the rest of the season.'”

The Boxscore – Braves 4, Pirates 2 i 10 innings.  Torre goes 1-for-1 as a pinch hitter for Warren Spahn.

Did You Know…

Joe Torre logged more than 500 games at catcher, third base, and first base during his playing days.