Former Major League managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, and Tony La Russa have all been elected into baseball’s Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee. The trio were all unanimous selections, appearing on all 16 ballots cast by the committee.
No other candidate received more than six votes.
For Cox, Torre, and La Russa the honor is one that goes without saying. The trio comprised one of the greatest collections of managers in the game during their lengthy tenures with each of their respective organizations. Collectively they won 8 World Series titles and 7,558 games.
Cox is easily best known for his time with the Atlanta Braves, leading the organization to 14 consecutive division titles from 1991 through 2005. Though the team went on to play in just five World Series during that stretch with just one victory (in 1995), it’s still one of the most singularly remarkable stretches in baseball history of team dominance and consistency. Much of those efforts were directly due to the successes of a group of Hall of Fame players that he was fortunate to have on the roster behind him – including pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine (who’ll find out if they’ll join their manager at the induction this summer in early January) and third baseman/left fielder Chipper Jones (who won’t appear on the ballot for a few more years but is certain to get in).
La Russa finished his career with the third highest win total in history, with a 2,728-2,365 record during his time with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland A’s, and St. Louis Cardinals. La Russa won the World Series in each league – in 1989 with Oakland and in 2006 and 2011 with St. Louis. Many of his methods and strategies towards bullpen management have shaped the way managers work the game today, as La Russa was one of the pioneers behind some of the specialized roles that pitchers have today.
Torre’s tenure with the New York Yankees in the late 1990s also ranks up there among the game’s best. The team (led by its own group of future Hall of Famers including Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera) won four World Series titles and six AL pennants in that stretch. Torre also managed the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Braves, and Cardinals and now serves as an advisor to the Commissioner’s Office.
Marvin Miller (former head of the MLBPA), George Steinbrenner (the late Yankees owner who won 7 Championships while owning the team), Tommy John, Billy Martin, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Dave Parker, Ted Simmons, and Dan Quisenberry were the other names on the ballot this year.