Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox, baseball’s winningest managers over the past four decades, were unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame on Monday by the expansion era committee.
All three won more than 2,000 games and were selected on all 16 ballots when the committee met Sunday ahead of baseball’s winter meetings.
“Managing against them, you certainly learned things,” said Torre, now an executive vice president for Major League Baseball. “I am honored to go into the Hall with these two guys.”
Induction ceremonies will be held July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Torre became the fifth manager to win four World Series championships, leading the Yankees to titles in 1996 and from 1998-00 — beating Cox’s Braves twice. After making only one trip to the playoffs in 14 seasons with the New York Mets, St. Louis and Atlanta, Torre guided the Yankees to the postseason in all 12 of his years in New York with a cool, patient demeanor. His popularity rankled owner George Steinbrenner, who didn’t receive the necessary 75 percent of the vote for election in his second appearance on the ballot.
Torre finished his career by leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to two NL West titles in three seasons, retiring after 2010 with a record of 2,326-1,997.
The strategy-savvy La Russa won World Series titles with Oakland in 1989 and with St. Louis in 2006 and ‘11, retiring days after beating the Texas Rangers in a seven-game thriller.
La Russa finished with the third-most wins by a manager in a career that began with the Chicago White Sox in 1979 and ended with a record of 2,728-2,365.
Cox’s managerial career began in 1978 with Atlanta, but he was fired after four seasons — only one above .500. A four-year run in Toronto ended in 1985 with an AL East title, and Ted Turner lured him back to the Braves as their GM. Cox returned to the dugout in 1990, and following one losing season he led the Braves to 14 straight division titles and a World Series championship in 1995.
Citing a desire to avoid surgery for an ailing back and wanting to spend more time with his family, two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay retired Monday after 16 seasons in the major leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. The 36-year-old right-hander signed a one-day contract to retire as a member of the Blue Jays, where he spent the first 12 years of his career.