Baseball's annual winter meetings kicked off on Monday in Orlando with the announcement of three new inductees to Cooperstown. Managers Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox were elected to the Hall of Fame by the veterans committee.
All three managers were voted in unanimously by the 16-person panel. None of the other candidates, including former players union chief Marvin Miller, received the necessary 12 votes for election. Former Dodgers Steve Garvey and Tommy John were among the 12 candidates for election.
Torre hit .297/.365/.462, a 129 OPS+ in his 18-year career, spent mostly at catcher and third base, with 252 home runs, 344 doubles, 1,185 RBI and 779 walks in his career. But the 1971 National League MVP never received more than 22.2% in any of his 15 years on the BBWAA ballot.
His managing career began as a player-manager with the Mets in 1977. He moved on to manage in Atlanta and St. Louis, winning one division title with the Braves in 1982, in a tight pennant race with the Dodgers. But his managing career took off when he replaced Buck Showalter with the Yankees in 1996.
Torre won the World Series that year, the first in The Bronx since 1978, and captured four World Series titles in his first five seasons in New York. He won six pennants and 10 division titles in his 12 seasons with the Yankees, averaging 98 wins per year in New York, then joined the Dodgers in 2008.
Torre managed the Dodgers to consecutive NL West division titles and back-to-back trips to the NLCS, winning the club's first postseason series since 1988. He retired after the 2010 season.
Torre has a career 2,326-1,997 record (.538) as manager.
"I am thrilled that these great managers during my tenure as Commissioner will join the legends of our game in the halls of Cooperstown. In careers of consistent excellence and incredible longevity, Bobby, Tony and Joe all left indelible impacts on our national pastime," Bud Selig said in a statement. "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."
The 16-member election panel consisted of Hall of Famers Rod Carew, Carlton Fisk, Whitey Herzog, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Morgan, Paul Molitor, Phil Niekro and Frank Robinson; major league executives Paul Beeston (Blue Jays), Andy MacPhail, Dave Montgomery (Phillies) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox); and historians Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau), Bruce Jenkins (San Francisco Chronicle), Jack O’Connell (BBWAA) and Jim Reeves (retired, Fort Worth Star-Telegram).