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Joe Torre elected to Hall of Fame

Joe Torre has been unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Expansion Era Committee.

Torre began his managerial career with the Mets, leading the team from 1977-1981, amassing a 286-420 record, a .405 winning percentage.

“I’d like to thank [former chairman and minority owner of the Mets] M. Donald Grant for allowing me to manage the New York Mets at the age of 36,” Torre said, “That certainly meant the world to me and made a difference in the rest of my professional life.”

Torre also played for the Mets from ’75 to ’77, hitting .267 with a .327 OBP  and .701 OPS. He served as player-manager in 1977, where he played in 26 games.

Over his 29-year managerial career, Torre won 2,326 games, including six pennants and four World Series championships with the New York Yankees.

“We are thrilled that Joe Torre has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame,” Fred Wilpon said in a statement. “Joe has distinguished himself throughout his career both on and off the field. His records and accomplishments as a player and manager speak for themselves. All of us at the Mets salute and congratulate Joe.”

Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa were also unanimous elections.

37 comments
dave27a
dave27a

I usually hate stupid personal stories about interactions with sports personalities, but I always enjoy sharing this one.


In 2000 I was the guest of a major sports publication at Yankees spring training camp. On the docket was a dinner with the coaching staff, which I looked forward to since the entire group had Mets ties of some sort (Torre, Randolph, Mazzilli, Stottlemyre, Zimmer....)


Anyway, Torre rolls in an undershirt and jacket - barely hanes quality.  Server comes around with a platter with glasses of wine on it - Torre's wife asks for a glass but asks for them to bring it in a regular glass.  The server pauses for a split second, just temporarily confused by the request...but Saint Joe doesn't miss a beat.  He rips into the kid, berating him and telling him in essence his wife will get what she wants.  This again is at a casual dinner thrown by a magazine, in front of dozens of invited guests.  He always struck me as a hypocrite whose saintly persona and ever-present tears were a crock, and that did nothing to make me think otherwise.


Side story - we'd been out all day watching games and I was a bit red from the sun.  Randolph took one look at me and said for a second he thought I must be a "whiskey-head."   Real quote.  I'm 25 at this point, and it is no later than 5:30pm.  That's my Willie Randolph story.

dave27a
dave27a

Fred issues a statement saluting the last manager to win a World Series at Shea Stadium on his HOF enshrinement, but not one saluting the 2nd-to-last manager to win a World Series at Shea on his retirement.  Of course.


Speaking of retirement, when do we put Torre's number on the wall?  Legendary Yankee manager who was a joke in the same role with the Mets...didn't Casey Stengel establish that as one of the few criteria for a Mets number retirement?

hankypanky
hankypanky

Hard to believe Torre managed the Mets in an empty Shea Stadium back in the day.

You could hear every single conversation in that cavern.  Who can forget the sight of 

 Montenez doing his act stepping up to the plate?

 

Metropolitan
Metropolitan

Sorry Torre was handed the keys to a Lamborghini and just managed not to crash it  ,he was awful everywhere else he managed  and was not able to do more with less.He is not a HOF in my book ...but hey my book is not what really counts..

Metslady
Metslady

Can't stand him after his defense of clemens roid rage. Decent player, lucky manager.

Mont5
Mont5

How lucky was Torre to land that Yankee job. Is the only reason he is going to the hall of fame.

dave27a
dave27a

Sorry, I can't behind anyone thanking M. Donald Grant.

MMIAA
MMIAA

wow how standards have fallen........

Ron Davis
Ron Davis

No Marvin Miller or Gil Hodges the voters still clueless . oh well

New York Mammoths
New York Mammoths

According to Baseball Reference, Torre apparently only gave himself two at bats as a Mets player manager, resulting in a walk and a flyout.

mrdickey
mrdickey

He deserves it for his entire body of work, but I think he's overrated as a "great manager". He always had the best teams money could buy.


How difficult was it letting your starter go 6 innings and then hand the ball over to Stanton, Nelson, and Rivera? Torre was falling asleep in the dugout half of the time.

box231d
box231d

Joe Torre deserves it. Great player, manager, winner, leader, and now an executive. I am pleased to see him elected into the HOF.


Will he be going in as a Met?  if so who gives the introduction speech? Lenny Randle, Mike Vail, or Stevie "Hendu" Henderson?

AJF
AJF

Thanks to PEDS and $$$$$$$$ spent on players ! Most overrated manager

Anthony Fiore
Anthony Fiore

Honestly, who cares?  This is Metsblog.  He is a Yankee through and through.  "Over his 29-year managerial career, Torre won 2,326 games, including six pennants and four World Series championships with the New York Yankees".  Do you think the Yankee blogs are posting when Piazza gets into the Hall?  I mean come on.

nwmets
nwmets

@dave27a Keeping in mind that Casey's number was retired in a completely different era (1965), I believe that was done to honor the fact that he was the Mets' first manager, and a beloved figure in NY sports. You can't really compare the "lovable losers" era of the early '60's to the unlovable boredom of the late 70's.

dave27a
dave27a

@Metropolitan Terrible manager.  And Cox belongs in the special "regular season" wing of the HOF...the list of manager to outfox him in the postseason is long and undistinguished.  Torre got two of his titles off him...

Skyking
Skyking

@Mont5 The late George Bamberger rolling in his grave thinking only if he managed the Yankees.

owlnut
owlnut

@mrdickey Torre was able to get personalities to play together, especially the Yankees who had egos that barely fit in the stadium.

Anthony Fiore
Anthony Fiore

Torre began his managerial career with the Mets, leading the team from 1977-1981, amassing a 286-420 record, a .405 winning percentage....That sound you hear was Terry Collins screaming..."I'm not so bad huh?"

dave27a
dave27a

@Anthony Fiore He's right there with Alomar and Murray as HOFers who stuck in short stints in Flushing.

metsie
metsie

@Anthony Fiore  Hey, not all of us were born in the 1990s. I still remember when he was our player manager. He's a good guy and this is well deserved. A little karma goes a long way.... !

Gland1
Gland1

Meh. Its a little more difficult to get things going in here now

Ron Davis
Ron Davis

your only as good as the talent around you before Torre never had talent as a Mets ,Braves to a point and then Cardinals > Yankees had a foundation that Buck Showater started and Torre benefited from.

Anthony Fiore
Anthony Fiore

I was born in the 70's thanks.  Joe Torre is going into the Hall for his Yankee days.  Not for his 4 years in Flushing.  End of Story.

trumpbour
trumpbour

@box231d @dave27a @Ron Davis Yes, in 1977.  And then went 3-15 in '78.  Ahhh, Grant's tomb.


(Of course, the moment he was traded to mere mediocrity [Gene Mauch's post-Rod Carew Twins], Jerry won 20 again, and was productive for years afterwards.  Gee, it's almost as though Torre was a terrible manager, isn't it?  Ah, well, at least we got Orosco in the deal.


(Btw, name that 1979 Twins team's starting outfiled.  If you said "Ken Landreaux, Hosken Powell and Bombo Rivera", you were right!  Makes Hendu, Mazz and Joel Youngblood look almost impressive by comparison, huh?)


Btw, does this mean that Brian Cashman is a HoF lock, too?

trumpbour
trumpbour

@dave27a @Ron Davis Finished a close second in'83 and then, to quote Bill James, the team "did a double-gainer, in full uniform, into the tank in 1984".  That Brett Butler/Brook Jacoby-for-Len Barker deal didn't help, either.


Didn't know how to set up a pitching rotation, couldn't identify talent (Neil Allen only got a shot at closer when Skip Lockwood got hurt, and then Torre couldn't see that Jeff Reardon was a better bullpen arm, leading to the Reardon-for-Ellis Valentine fiasco) and let's not forget the brilliant "Lee Mazzilli, 1B" brainstorm of 1980.


Meanwhile, Buck Showalter led the 1994 Yankees to the best record in baseball with Jeter/Rivera/Posada/Pettitte still in the minors,  and Bernie Williams just blossoming.  70-43 with a rotation of Jimmy Key, Jim Abbott, Melido Perez, Terry Mulholland, and Scott Kaminiecki.  (And 36 year-old pseudo-sober Steve Howe closing.)  Buck got amazing years out of Mike Stanley, Boggs, and O'Neill, got Mattingly to hang in there, and kept the Luis Polonia/Danny Tartabull/Pat Kelly parts productive. Veteran teams (Williams and Kelly were the only regulars under 30) tend to breakdown because of injuries (and maybe the Yanks would have, but they hadn't as of the August strike date), but Showalter kept them humming. One "off-year" (won wild-card, lost a classic LDS to Seattle) later, and he's in Arizona while St. Joe is reaping all the benefits of his (and Gene Michael's) good work. Feh.


I mean, Joe's done good clubhouse work, and thus his teams did well in the post-season.  (Up until 2004, hehehehe…) But for the most part, as a manager, to paraphrase the old saying, "he was born on third base and the HoF thinks he hit a triple."


Congrats to LaRussa, though.

dave27a
dave27a

@Ron Davis He walked into talent in Atlanta too - won a division title in 1982 in his first year, never did anything afterwards.

box231d
box231d

@Ron Davis Are you kidding! He had Frank Tavares, Lenny Randle, Mark Bomback, Tom Houseman, Ron Hodges, Nino Espinosa, Willie Montenez.

metsie
metsie

@Anthony Fiore Well, that's true. The best memory I have for him with the Mets was the time he argued a call so emphatically his toupee came off. Bet they don't mention that in Cooperstown.