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Tony La Russa Bobby Cox, Joe Torre all unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame

Dec 9, 2013, 10:14 AM EDT

La Russa closeup

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL — For the first time in a long time we have living, breathing inductees for the Hall of Fame. The Veteran’s Committee has elected Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre. They will be inducted next summer in Cooperstown.

La Russa – unanimously elected by the sixteen member Veteran’s Committee — ranks third all-time in wins among managers, having compiled a 2,728-2,365 record in 33 seasons. He won three World Series: in 1989 with the Oakland Athletics and 2006 and 2011 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He won six pennants overall, three each with Oakland and St. Louis and spent eight years managing the Chicago White Sox as well.

Cox — also voted in unanimously — is right on La Russa’s historic heels, ranking fourth all-time in wins among managers, compiling a 2,504-2,001 record in 29 seasons with the Braves and Blue Jays. A World Series winner in 1995, he won five National League pennants in 25 years with the Braves and won a lot of games in four years as Toronto’s manager.  His signature accomplishment, however, is one of year-in-year-out excellence, leading the Braves to 14 division titles between 1991 and 2005.

Joe Torre was also unanimously elected. His Hall of Fame resume comes from both his playing and his managing exploits. The National League MVP in 1971, Torre was one of the more underrated players from the sixties and seventies. Of course he wouldn’t be entering Cooperstown if it weren’t for his years as a manager, in which he won four World Series titles and six pennants — all with the Yankees — in 29 seasons. Overall he was 2,326-1,997 record managing the Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees and Dodgers.

Left on the outside looking in: Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Billy Martin, Marvin Miller, Dave Parker, Dan Quisenberry, Ted Simmons and George Steinbrenner, none of whom mustered more than six of the twelve votes required for induction.

  1. mannyicey - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    All deserving and all deserving to go in together!

  2. xdj511 - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Wow, UNANIMOUS? Who would’ve thought that was even a possibility, even for the veterans committee?

    • gloccamorra - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      Well, there’s a lot fewer than 572 of ‘em voting.

  3. nsstlfan - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Congratulations to all three you were great assests to the game

  4. skipcastaneda - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    I don’t understand why theyvgotbin by the Veterans committee? All three recently retired. Why didn’t they go in the normal way, by waiting five years after they retire?
    Oh wait! Now I get it! Due to the PED era, no one else is getting voted in anytime soon. It’s all about attendance at Cooperstown this summer. Meanwhile Tommy John and Steve Garvey have to wait ANOTHER year. What a crock!!

    • largebill - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      Wrong. They didn’t go the normal route for players because they were not being considered as players. Managers don’t wait the five year period if they are over 65 when they retire.

  5. uyf1950 - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    Interesting that the Baseball Writers hold PED use against players when voting. But the Veteran’s Committee doesn’t hold the Managers who managed those players and clearly either knew or should have known responsible to some degree for their use. At least in the case of LaRussa an Torre. Just a thought.

    • yahmule - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      Seriously. LaRussa’s clubhouses were pharmacy warehouses. What a bunch of hypocrites.

      • largebill - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        Do you know what the word “hypocrite” means?

      • yahmule - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        I know what the word asshole means.

      • xdj511 - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        Well sure, but what was LaRussa supposed to do, really? Imagine if he came forward in the summer of ’98 and called McGwire a cheater, that he’s artificially enhanced, and that he should be banned from the game? Who would really expect that that would’ve ever happened?

      • cohnjusack - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:09 AM

        Seriously, Torre and Cox had just as many players under them who used PEDs as LaRussa.

        Players we know did steroids (Mitchell Report, positive test, admitted)

        LaRussa: Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, Ryan Franklin, Fernando Vina, Gary Bennett, Larry Bigbie, Jason Christiansen, Cody McKay, Ron Villone, Troy Glaus,

        Bobby Cox: Gary Sheffield, John Rocker, Matt Franco, David Justice, Kent Merker, Denny Neagle, Todd Pratt, Mike Stanton, Paul Byrd, Darren Holmes

        Joe Torre: Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, Roger Clemens, Kevin Brown, David Justice, Glenallen HIll, Chuck Knoblauch, Denny Neagle, Andy Pettitte, Mike Stanton, Ron Villone, Todd Williams,

        It;s astounding to me that this is all common knowledge and extremely easy to look up….yet people will continue to cling to silly narratives in face of the facts.

      • yahmule - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        Being the manager in Oakland when Canseco had everybody except Weiss on the needle is merely a narrative. LMAO.

      • cohnjusack - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        Being the manager in Oakland when Canseco had everybody except Weiss on the needle is merely a narrative. LMAO.

        Uh-huh. And which players were those? Carney Lansford, Dave Stewart, Bob Welch, Mike Gaellego? Are you privy to some new information the rest of aren’t, or are you pulling making stuff up to make your comment seem less absurd?

      • mediocrebob - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:33 AM

        David Justice? Kent Mercker? Danny Neagle? WRONG

    • paperlions - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      Hypocrisy at its best. Everyone in the game knew what was going on, players, managers, trainers, owners….EVERYONE…and any media members and fans paying attention knew as well….but no one cared at all, until Bonds started breaking and approaching records. Heck, the media member that wrote about McGWire and andro was lambasted by everyone else in the media, including all of the hypocrites that now won’t vote for PED users.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        The last sentence can’t be repeated enough. Nor the fact that every BBWAA member with a vote has been a member since at least 2003, and thus was “covering” baseball during “the steroid era.”

    • Jeremy T - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      While it is interesting, it’s not the same voters, so I’m not entirely sure you can make an apples-to-apples comparison.

      • yahmule - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        I will concede this rather large point.

  6. wpjohnson - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Three excellent choices. Add Maddux, Glavine, and Thomas to the group and it will be a worthy Class of 2014. Add any more and it will be tarnished.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      Add any more and it will be tarnished.

      Two players who played virtually the same position and careers almost entirely overlapped. You think one is worthy of induction and the other isn’t. Pick the one:

      A – .297/.408/.542 – 150 OPS+; 2289 H, 484 2b, 32 3b, 446 HR; 1506 R, 1510 RBI; 79.2 rWAR
      B – .308/.428/.568 – 161 OPS+; 2050 H, 433 2b, 8 3b, 429 HR; 1269 R, 1408 RBI; 65.4 rWAR

      One player played an additional 4 years averaging less than 100g as a DH, which the other player didn’t. However the above stats are for the same exact period.

      • wpjohnson - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:57 PM

        If you want the truth, I don’t think either your A or your B belong in the Hall. Actually, only Maddux and Glavine deserve election along with the managers. Of course I am sure this will garner the wrath of those who seem to want everyone to get a trophy.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        If you want the truth, I don’t think either your A or your B belong in the Hall.

        Congrats you don’t want Frank Thomas in the hall then. Player A is Jeff Bagwell btw.

      • paperlions - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        Glavine is far from being the 2nd best pitcher currently on the HOF ballot. He is just the guy that pitched the most game.

      • moogro - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:55 PM

        Bagwell was amazing.

  7. cohnjusack - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    ….and once again, Ted Simmons is out. 9th all-time in WAR amongst catchers(1-8 and 10-11 are all in…but not #9!).

    • raysfan1 - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      Yes, it’s the continued punishment for daring to be contemporaries of Bench and Fisk. He really should have known better and been born in a different decade. Shame on him.

      • yahmule - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:01 PM

        The first half of his career perfectly overlapped Thurman Munson’s, too. Another guy who got way more publicity, though not by his choosing.

      • gloccamorra - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        Excellent point. Catchers don’t have the longevity of outfielders, but their stats are compared directly. If you can normally get 8-10 years of 130-140 games out of a catcher, that’s outstanding. The two freaks, bench and Fisk, have obscured that, so only Pudge has a chance.

        Ted Simmons was an excellent catcher for 10 years and could handle a bat as well as a corner infielder was expected to, but didn’t get in. Joe Torre also should have gotten in as a catcher years ago. There’s a reason the catcher position has the fewest representatives in the Hall: HOF voters are stupid.

      • Walk - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        @gloccamorra

        http://baseballhall.org/hall-famers

        “By position, there are: 72 pitchers, 17 catchers, 21 first basemen, 20 second basemen, 15 third basemen, 24 shortstops, 21 left fielders, 23 center fielders, 24 right fielders, 20 managers, 10 umpires and 33 executives.”

        Excluding umpires third base continues to be the least represented
        position on the field that has been inducted.

        I agree with most of the rest of your statement though i would have to take a better look at joe torre’s numbers relative to the time he played for me to decide yes or no on hall worthiness.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:53 PM

        Torre played 3B too. That was his position in his MVP season (1971).

        He was, to most, a “Hall of Very Good” candidate as a player, but became a no-brainer for the HoF with his subsequent managerial career.

      • gloccamorra - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:28 PM

        @Walk, there are five catchers added by various veterans’ committees, not elected by the BBWAA, and those voters are who I called stupid. I stand by that characterization.
        @raysfan1, Catchers have a limited time behind the plate, and are used at other positions if they can play them and can still hit. Yogi Berra played both corner outfield spots when he was no longer the primary catcher, as well as first and third. Ted Simmons played a solid ten years catching, but he played first, third, left field and was a DH. Why does Yogi get in but not Torre and Simmons?

      • raysfan1 - Dec 10, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        Glocc–
        Torre is in now. Simmons should be.

  8. csbanter - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    LaRussa’s Oakland A’a managerial career should have an asterisk, just like the stats for Canseco, McGwire. Like he didn’t know. Cox deserved entry for the great job he did in Atlanta, despite the only winning it all once. As for Torre having the Yankee Bank of America didn’t hurt, but the heart of those 90’s Yankee teams were all homegrown. Jeter,Bernie,Pettite,Mariano, and Posada. So yes Joe earned his Cooperstown plaque.

    • cohnjusack - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      Let me rephrase that for you:

      LaRussa’s Oakland A’s managerial career should have an asterisk. Like he didn’t know.

      Cox deserved entry for the job he did in Atlanta, despite having known users David Justice, Paul Byrd, Denny Neagle and John Rocker. I’m going to assume he didn’t know since it doesn’t fit my narrative.

      Joe Torre managed Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Mike Stanton, David Justice, Kevin Brown etc…I’m also just going to say he didn’t know either.

      • kehnn13 - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:57 PM

        I think that LaRussa helped to create that narrative, with his spirited defense of McGwire when steroids and McGwire became a talking point.

      • sportsfan18 - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:58 PM

        Not only did most, if not all, managers know, so did Bud Selig and the G.M.s too.

        After the strike in 1994, they were quite happy with what was going on in the game, especially the summer of 1998 when Mac and Sosa made watching their at bats darn near mandatory.

        Many NON-baseball fans at least cared about Mac and Sosa and their assault on the HR record.

        they received press and following by those who weren’t sportsfans.

        SO many knew from the commissioner’s office on down to the front office of teams, managers and many of the players knew what was going on too.

        hard to punish some and not punish the others.

        it’s simply a bad period in the game now but many get a pass while others are held back.

  9. anxovies - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    If Joe had possessed any speed at all he would have been the greatest RH hitter since Rogers Hornsby. In his MVP year of 1971, he hit .362 with 230 hits and 24 HR with an OPS of .976. Watching him run to first base looked like the beach scene from Chariots of Fire. Any ball hit to the infield, no matter how deep or well placed, was an out, as were some balls that he hit to short right field.

    • cohnjusack - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      If Joe had possessed any speed at all he would have been the greatest RH hitter since Rogers Hornsby.

      Ladies and Gentlemen, I present you with the most outlandishly hyperbolic, light-years away from the truth statement ever made on HardballTalk.

      • raysfan1 - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:50 AM

        *Non-Derek Jeter Division.

        Back to Simmons for a moment, cohn, wasn’t he the main reason Torre got permanently removed from behind the plate?

  10. sdelmonte - Dec 9, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Congrats to all three.

    Braves fans, given that Maddux seems likely to join his manager and that Glavine is possible, I suggest you start booking your tickets now. It might be a very Braves day next summer.

  11. chinahand11 - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    “yahmule – Dec 9, 2013 at 10:58 AM. I know what the word asshole means.”

    That was simply hysterical.

    I would like to see Tommy John voted in. Heck, how many people get an operation named after them? I didn’t when I had my triple bypass, jeez. Put Bags in too.

    • raysfan1 - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:45 PM

      I’d vote for Tommy John if I could. He should have retired after the 1982 season instead of 1989, so unfortunately a lot of folk only remember over-the-hill Tommy John. He also gets labelled a “stat accumulator” as a result. However, the truth is he was an excellent pitcher. He had a career 3.34 ERA. His ERA+ of 111 would be better if he retired sooner. His career rWAR of 62.3 is superb. He was definitely better than how some people remember him.

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  13. dirtydrew - Dec 9, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Sorry…never been a unanimous vote. Not Mays, Ruth, Aaron or Bonds. So let’s not start lying to the reading public. This was a sub committee. I mean, Bobby Cox with 1 ring out of like 15 post seasons. I guess Bruce Bochey is a Hall of Famer.

    • yahmule - Dec 9, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      That’s an enshrinement ceremony I would pass on.

    • mediocrebob - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:36 AM

      He’s 4th ALL TIME in wins. All you need is 1 ring

  14. ezwriter69 - Dec 10, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Interesting, so beating your wife for 30 years, as Cox admitted to and as was testified to by his wife, that doesn’t merit so much as a blink of an eye, he’s a great guy who belongs in the HOF no question… Spousal battery, no problem, for the baseball writers and MLB… violent uncontrollable temper that got you thrown out of more games than anyone in history, no problem… just don’t smoke dope or bet on your team to win, THAT will get you banned for life.
    Haven’t heard a single commentator so much as mention this issue, guess no one cares that he’s a raging uncontrolled bullying woman batterer wife beater.

    • mediocrebob - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:38 AM

      Nope. Cry somewhere else

  15. mediocrebob - Dec 10, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    :**{

  16. raymondescamilla4816 - Dec 10, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    He is the next dodgers manager!

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