Torre gets Hall of Fame nod that is well deserved

By Rich Mancuso

Joe Torre is now a legitimate part of baseball history when he got the well- deserved honor Monday morning elected with two other former and living managers into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The announcement was made at the annual baseball winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista Florida.

Torre, along with Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa, former managers of the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals, were unanimously elected by the expansion era committee. The late George Steinbrenner, who hired Torre to manage the Yankees in 1996, was denied induction for the second time. They are the first managers inducted since Whitey Herzog in 2010.

With four World Series rings, and a successful playing career, Torre, Executive Vice President of Operations for Major League Baseball, joins an elite group of 21-former managers to be enshrined in the Hall.

It is an honor that is well deserved with overall managerial record of 1173-767 with the Yankees and six American League pennants.  Steinbrenner at the time took a chance when he appointed Torre as the manager and there was much skepticism at the time. But, with an array of free agents and support from the Yankees front office staff, Torre was able to utilize what he had and it worked guiding his team to championships in the Bronx.

Previously as a manager with the Braves, cross-town Mets and the Cardinals, Torre did not have much success and that was a primary cause of concern when he was hired by the Yankees. However the names of Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Bernie Williams and many more put a hush to the critics about his managerial ability.

He always said, the players made the job that much easier to manager. On the other hand, those who played for Torre always claimed that he was the proper fit to guide the Yankees. A player’s manager, and one who knew how to take control in the clubhouse when there was any sign of adversity, Torre was respected.

Though in the Torre years, there was little room for adversity as the Yankees, always with the highest payroll in baseball were able to compete and get the players that they needed. 

“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.”

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