LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Former Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox, along with former Major League Baseball managers Tony La Russa and Joe Torre, have been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by a unanimous vote of the Expansion Era Committee.
La Russa (2,728), Cox (2,504) and Torre (2,326) rank third, fourth and fifth in managerial victories in Major League history, each winning more than 2,000 games in their respective careers. Only Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763) won more games than La Russa, Torre and Cox.
"I’m thrilled that these great managers during my tenure as Commissioner will join the legends of our game in the halls of Cooperstown," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "In careers of consistent excellence and incredible longevity, Bobby, Tony and Joe all left indelible impacts on our national pastime. For decades, these three individuals not only led great ballclubs, but instilled in their teams a brand of class and professionalism that baseball fans admired. It is fitting that Bobby, Tony and Joe will share our game's highest honor together."
Torre is one of five to win at least four World Series titles, which he did with the Yankees in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000. La Russa won championships with Oakland (1989) and St. Louis (2006, 2011), while Cox led Atlanta to 14 straight division championships and the 1995 World Series title.
"Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is really somebody else's opinion," said Torre, who managed the Yankees, Mets, Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers during a 29-year career that began as a player-manager for the Mets in 1977. "And when you look at the people who voted for us to get in and look at the quality of these baseball people and players you've admired, that means a lot. Because any time you are recognized by your peers, those are the only guys who really know how tough it is to do what you do."
Other candidates on the ballot, which considered those who made their impacts from 1973 to present, included Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Dave Parker, Dave Quisenberry and Ted Simmons. Manager Billy Martin; Marvin Miller, the first executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, and iconic Yankees principal owner George Steinbrenner were also on the ballot, but none of them received the requisite 75 percent—12 of 16 votes—from the committee.
Phil Niekro, a member of the 16-member Expansion Era electorate, played for Cox and Torre, and also played with La Russa for a time in the Braves organization. He said the Hall of Fame got “three kings of managing.”
"When I think of these guys I think of respect. By their players, by their fans, their organization," Niekro said. "They’re men of integrity and character and I was honored and privileged to play for these guys."
They’ll be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
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