LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) -- Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox spent
decades trying to beat each other, no holds barred. On this day, however,
they were a mutual admiration society.
And why not? They were going to the Hall of Fame together.
With a combined eight World Series titles and more than 7,500 wins, the
managerial trio made it to Cooperstown in results announced Monday. Each was
unanimously selected when the 16 voters on the expansion era committee met a
day earlier. All three exceeded the magic benchmark of 2,000 wins -- only
Connie Mack and John McGraw have won more.
Induction ceremonies will be held July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Candidates needed 12 votes for election. No one else on the 12-person ballot
that included former players’ union head Marvin Miller and late New York
Yankees owner George Steinbrenner got more than six votes.
Torre became the fifth manager to win four World Series championships,
leading the Yankees to titles in 1996 and from 1998-00 -- beating Cox’s
Braves twice. After making only one trip to the playoffs in 14 seasons with
the New York Mets, St. Louis and Atlanta, Torre guided the Yankees to the
postseason in all 12 of his years in New York with a cool, patient demeanor.
Torre finished his career by leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to two NL West
titles in three seasons, retiring after 2010 with a record of 2,326-1,997.
He’s the only manager to have more than
2,000 hits as a player -- he was the 1971 NL MVP -- and 2,000 wins in the
The savvy La Russa won World Series titles with Oakland in 1989 and with St.
Louis in 2006 and ‘11, retiring days after beating the Texas Rangers in a
seven-game thriller. Of the nine managers with three or more World Series
titles, the other seven all have been inducted.
La Russa finished with the third-most wins by a manager in a career that
began with the Chicago White Sox in 1979 and ended with a record of
2,728-2,365. “I miss the winning and losing,” La Russa said. “Someday I’ll
be with a team, I think. I’d like to be part of the competition again.”
Cox’s managerial career began in 1978
with Atlanta, but he was fired after four seasons -- only one above .500. A
four-year run in Toronto ended in 1985 with an AL East title, and Ted Turner
lured him back to the Braves as their GM. Cox returned to the dugout in
1990, and following one losing season he went on one of the most successful
regular-season runs by any skipper, leading the Braves to 14 straight
division titles and a World Series championship in 1995.
He retired in 2010 fourth behind La Russa in career wins with a record of
2,504-2,001. Cigar-chomping and fiercely loyal to his players, Cox was
ejected a major league record 159 times.
Two of his pitchers during the remarkable stretch during the ‘90s, 300-game
winners Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, head the newcomers on this year’s
players’ ballot. Results of voting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of
America is scheduled for Jan. 8.
“I just hope Glav and Mad Dog can be on the stage with me,” Cox said. “That
would be the final finishing touch, going in with those two.”
Miller, the pioneering head of the players’ association from 1966-81, was
rejected for admission to the Hall for the sixth time he appeared on a
committee ballot. He fell one vote short of induction in 2010 and received
no more than six votes this year.
“Words cannot adequately describe the level of disappointment and disbelief
I felt when learning that once again the Hall of Fame has chosen to ignore
Marvin Miller and his unparalleled contributions to the growth and
prosperity of Major League Baseball,” players’ association head Tony Clark
said in a statement. “Over the past 50 years, no individual has come close
to matching Marvin’s impact on the sport.”
This year’s committee included Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk,
Whitey Herzog, Tom Lasorda, Paul Molitor, Joe Morgan, Phil Niekro and Frank
Robinson; Blue Jays President Paul Beeston; retired club executive Andy
MacPhail; Philadelphia President Dave Montgomery; White Sox chairman Jerry
Reinsdorf; Steve Hirdt of the Elias Sports Bureau; Bruce Jenkins of the San
Francisco Chronicle; BBWAA Secretary-Treasurer Jack O’Connell; and retired
Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Jim Reeves.
This year’s ballot, chosen by a BBWAA-appointed historical overview
committee, covers baseball’s expansion era. Players, managers, umpires,
executives whose most significant impact was from 1973 and later were
considered as part of a three-year cycle. The golden era (1947-72) will be
voted on in 2014 and the pre-integration era (1871-1946) will be judged in