The National Baseball Hall of Fame today announced that former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame based on voting results of the Expansion Era ballot. Torre piloted the Yankees to six World Series appearances (1996, 1998-2001, '03), winning World Championships in his first four Fall Classics with the team.
Additionally, Bobby Cox, who spent his only two Major League playing seasons with the Yankees (1968-69) and was the club's first base coach in their 1977 World Championship season under manager Billy Martin, was also elected to the Hall of Fame via the same balloting process. Cox played in 220 career games with the club, batting .225 (141-for-628) with 50 runs, 22 doubles, two triples, nine home runs and 58 runs batted in.
Torre and Cox were unanimously elected by the 16 members of the Expansion Era Committee, which considered individuals whose most significant impact on Baseball occurred from 1973 to the present. Election required at least 75 percent of the vote.
"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. "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."
There are now 50 Yankees enshrined in the Hall of Fame, including former players, managers, coaches, owners and general managers of the club. It marks the second consecutive year that at least one Yankee has been elected. On July 28, 2013, former Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert was inducted to the Hall after a vote of the Pre-Integration Committee last December.
Torre joins Miller Huggins (1918-29), Joe McCarthy (1931-46), Bucky Harris (1947-48), Casey Stengel (1949-60), Yogi Berra (1964, 1984-85) and Bob Lemon (1978-79, 81-82) as the seventh former Yankees Manager in the Hall of Fame.
Among all Cooperstown inductees, Torre and Cox are members of a group of 21 Hall of Famers whose "greatest contributions" have come as a manager. They are the first managers to be inducted since Whitey Herzog was enshrined in 2010.
Torre was named the 31st manager in club history on November 2, 1995. In 12 seasons as manager of the Yankees from 1996-2007, he compiled a 1,173-767 (.605) regular season record and 76-47 (.618) postseason mark, leading the club to the playoffs every year. As Yankees manager he went 21-11 in the World Series, 27-14 in the ALCS and 28-22 in the ALDS. His regular season wins total is second in club history to Joe McCarthy, who went 1,460-867 (.627) over 16 seasons.
The 1996 club snapped a 14-year stretch without appearing in a World Series (1982-95) and a 17-year stretch without winning one (1979-95). Torre became the fourth Yankees skipper to win the Fall Classic in his first year managing the club, joining Bucky Harris (1947), Casey Stengel (1949) and Ralph Houk (1961). Beginning with Game 3 of the 1996 World Series through Game 2 of the 2000 World Series, the Torre-led Yankees won an all-time record 14 consecutive games in the Fall Classic.
The 1998 club was one of the most dominant teams of all time, finishing the regular season 114-48 (.704) and winning the AL East by 22.0 games, marking the third-largest margin of any league or division winner in Major League history, behind only Cleveland in 1995 (+30.0) and Pittsburgh in 1902 (+27.5). Their regular season winning percentage trailed only the 1927 Murderers' Row team (.714) for the best in franchise history, and their 125-50 overall record including the postseason, marks the most single-season wins by any team all time.
In 29 seasons as a Major League manager, Torre went 2,326-1,997 (.538). He also managed the New York Mets (1977-81; 286-420; .405), Atlanta Braves (1982-84; 257-229; .529), St. Louis Cardinals (1990-95; 351-354; .498) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2008-10; 259-227; .533). He ranks fifth all time in wins, trailing only Connie Mack (3,776-4,025), John McGraw (2,841-1,984), Tony La Russa (2,728-2,365) and Cox (2,504-2,001) according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Torre also played 2,209 games over 18 Major League seasons as a catcher, first baseman and third baseman with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves (1960-68), St. Louis Cardinals (1969-74) and New York Mets (1975-77), batting .297 (2,342-for-7,874) with 996 runs, 344 doubles, 252 home runs and 1,185 runs batted in. He was a nine-time All-Star (1963-67, '70-73), one-time Gold Glove Award winner at catcher (1965) and captured the 1971 NL Most Valuable Player Award, leading the Majors with a .363 (230-for-634) batting average, 137 runs batted in and 352 total bases, while hitting 24 home runs.