Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, & Joe Torre to enter Cooperstown

The Expansion Era Committee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has unanimously elected three managers to the Hall of Fame: Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, & Joe Torre.

Each manager has had a successful tenure with one team, winning at least one World Series title with the team they are most familiar with.

Let’s look at each manager:

Bobby Cox:  He spent 32 years as a manager of both the Atlanta Braves and the Toronto Blue Jays.  Prior to this Mr. Cox was a player for the New York Yankees in 1968 and 1969, mainly playing third base.  His playing career ended due to issues involving his knees, and his stats as a player are as follows:  .225 batting average, nine homeruns, and 58 RBIs.

In 1977 he was the first base coach for Yankees manager Billy Martin, and picked up a World Series ring later that year when the Yankees beat the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 1978 Mr. Cox was hired as the manager of the Atlanta Braves, a position he held until the end of the 1981 season.  He would be replaced by fellow Cooperstown inductee Joe Torre.

He would not be out of baseball for long as the Toronto Blue Jays hired him as their manager for the 1982 season.  The team would improve each year, including their first American League East Division title in 1985, ultimately losing the ALCS four games to three after being up three games to one.  He would leave at the end of the season.

He returned to the Braves as their General Manager in 1986, a position he held until he retired in 2010.  In 1990, after the Braves started the season slowly, Mr. Cox would again become manager of the Braves, leading them to the National League Western Division title in 1991, 1992, and 1993.  This included appearances in the World Series in 1991 (losing to the Minnesota Twins in seven games), and 1992 (losing to his old team, the Blue Jays, four games to two.)  The Braves returned to the World Series in 1995, beating the Cleveland Indians for his second World Series ring.  The Braves would try to repeat as Champions in 1996, but ultimately lost to the Yankees in the World Series four games to one.

Mr. Cox is one of only four managers to win the Manager of the Year award in both leagues, winning the award on four different occasions (1985, 1991, 2004, and 2005.)  He was also the only manager to ever win the award in back to back years.

Hie record is as a manger is 2,504 wins to 2,001 losses in 4,508 games for a .556 winning percentage.

Tony La Russa:  He played parts of five seasons with three different teams:  the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago Cubs.  He would go on to manager three teams: the Chicago White Sox (1979-1986), Oakland Athletics (1986-1995), and St. Louis Cardinals (1996-2011.)

Mr. La Russa would lead three teams to World Series titles: the 1989 Oakland Athletics, and the 2006 and 2011 St. Louis Cardinals.  He won four Manager of the Year awards: 1983 (White Sox), 1988 (Athletics), 1992 (Athletics), and 2002 (Cardinals.)  Along with Bobby Cox, he is one of only four managers to win the award in both leagues.

The Cardinals retired his jersey (#10) after his retirement.  His managerial numbers breakdown as follows: 2,728 wins and 2,365 losses in 5,097 games for a .536 winning percentage.

Joe Torre: He was catcher/infielder for 17 years with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves (1960-1968), St. Louis Cardinals (1969-1974), and New York Mets (1975-1977.)  In his playing career he had a .297 batting average with 252 homeruns, and 1,185 RBIs.

As a player, he was named an All-Star nine times between 1963 and 1973, missing the All Star game only in 1968.

Mr. Torre then turned his attention to managing.  He would go on to lead five different teams: the Mets (1977-1981), the Braves (1982-1984), the Cardinals (19905-1995), the Yankees (1996-2007), and the Dodgers (2008-2010.)   Mr. Torre famously replaced Bobby Cox as manager of the Braves in 1982.

His most success came with the Yankees, leading them to to four Word Series titles in 1996 and from 1998-2000.  The Arizona Diamondbacks stopped the Yankees from winning four straight World Series titles in 2001.  The Yankees also made it to the World Series in 2003, losing to the Florida Marlins.  That meant the Yankees won four World Series and six AL Pennants during his tenure.

Mr. Torre won the Manager of the Year award in 1996 and 1998.  In 4,329 games as a manager, he picked up 2,326 wins for a .538 winning percentage.

The three managers have combined for eight World Series titles, 10 Manager of the Year awards, and 7, 558 wins (and a .542 winning percentage.)  Very impressive indeed!

All three managers have had great success as managers, especially with one specific team.  Congratulations to all three of them on being elected to the Hall of Fame.

About Edward Brain

I am a long time condo activist and have a background in Business Administration.
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