Newest Members to the Hall of Fame

Newest Members to the Hall of Fame

2014 is already shaping up to be an excellent class of the Hall of Fame!

This past week, the Expansion Era Committee elected the newest inductees, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa – some of the best managers baseball has ever seen.

Bobby Cox, 72, managed the Atlanta Braves for 25 years and is fourth in career wins with a 2,504-2,001 record.  He led them to an impressive 14 straight division titles from 1991-2005 and won the NL pennant in 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996 and 1999.

The Braves captured only one World Series title (1995) despite all those postseason trips.  Probably one of the more exciting of those world series battles was against fellow inductee Joe Torre’s Yankees in 1996.  The Braves dominated the first two games in New York but ultimately lost 4 games to 2.

Prior to becoming manager of the Yankees in 1996, Torre, 73, had manager stints with the New York York Mets, Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals.  With the exception of a 1982 division title with the Atlanta Braves, Torre had had mixed results as a manager.  All of that changed with a phone call from Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner for the 1996 season.   Torre initially had an uphill battle on his hands, with the local media skeptical and Steinbrenner threatening to bring back the prior skipper, Buck Showalter.  But Torre quickly won over his team with a display of calm and focus.   Torre ending up leading the New York Yankees to World Series titles in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000 and AL pennants in 2001 and 2003. He is fifth all time in wins with 2,326.  Torre also found some success as a player, particularly the 1971 season where he won the NL batting title and the NL MVP.

La Russa, 69, managed the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals, winning the World Series in 1989 with Oakland and in 2006 and 2011 with St. Louis. He is third in career wins with lifetime record of 2,728-2,365.

He had 70 postseason victories, trailing only Torre’s 84, and along with fellow Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson are the only managers to win Series in both leagues.

In all, La Russa managed 12 first-place finishes and six pennants and was picked as Manager of the Year four times. He went to the World Series three straight years from 1988-90, and also lost in the Series in 2004 when the Cardinals were swept by Boston.

Congratulations to this great hall of fame candidates!

 

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