The most celebrated manager of New York baseball's modern era is going to Cooperstown.
The expansion era committee selected former Yankees manager Joe Torre to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday morning as the Winter Meetings commenced in Orlando, Fla.
"It hits you like a sledgehammer," Torre said. "I can't tell you how excited I am."
Fellow managers Bobby Cox, formerly of the Braves, and Tony La Russa, of the Athletics and Cardinals, were also selected.
All three managers were unanimous selections.
Torre won four World Series in New York and had a 1,173-767 record in 12 seasons. He won the title in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000, and led the Yankees to World Series appearances in 2001 and 2003. Torre defeated Cox's Braves for his first title in 1996 and again in 1999 for his third title.
Torre may have gained celebrity in the Bronx, but he actually began his managerial career with the Mets in 1977. He spent five years with the Mets, and also managed the Braves for three seasons and the Cardinals for six seasons. He finished his career with three seasons with the Dodgers after an acrimonious divorce from the Yankees in 2007.
He never approached the tremendous success he had with the Yankees at any of his previous stops and was a controversial choice to replace Buck Showalter, who was fired after the 1995 wild-card winning season.
But Torre went to the playoffs every season he managed in the Bronx.
"On behalf of the Steinbrenner family and our entire organization, I’d like to congratulate Joe Torre on his induction today into the Hall of Fame," managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. "Joe led our team during one of the most successful runs in our storied history, and he did it with a quiet dignity that was true to the Yankee way. Joe’s place in Yankees history has been secure for quite some time and it is appropriate that he now gets to take his place among the greats in Cooperstown."
Torre was actually a borderline Hall of Famer as a player, but did not get elected in his eligibility. He never received more than the 22.2 percent of the vote he got in his final year of eligibility in 1997. He won the MVP award in 1971 with the Cardinals and was a nine-time All Star. He finished his career with a .297 batting average, 252 home runs, 1,185 RBIs and 2,342 hits.
Former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who brought Torre aboard, fell six votes shy of making the Hall of Fame in his second time on the committee's ballot.
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