LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Retired managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre were unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame by the expansion era committee.
They will be inducted in July along with any player elected in the Baseball Writers' Association of America voting.
Cox managed the Braves and Blue Jays for 29 seasons, leading his teams to 15 first-place finishes. From 1991-2005, Cox led the Braves to 14 straight seasons where they finished in playoff position.The Braves won five National League pennants and the 1995 World Series under Cox, who finished with 2,504 victories – the fourth-best total of all time.
La Russa managed the White Sox, A’s and Cardinals for 33 seasons, winning 2,728 games – the third-highest total of all time. He led his teams to 12 first-place finishes, six pennants and three World Series titles.
Torre led the Yankees to six AL pennants and four World Series titles in his 12 seasons in New York, and also managed the Mets, Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers. His 2,326 wins in 29 seasons rank fifth on the all-time list. Torre also spent 18 seasons as a major league catcher and third baseman, earning nine All-Star Game selections and the 1971 NL Most Valuable Player Award.
"It hits you like a sledgehammer," Torre said. "I can't tell you excited I am."
Cox said he hoped that two of his former Atlanta Braves aces, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, would join him in Cooperstown. Both are on the ballot for the first time this year.
Torre was asked whether he had a feeling he would get in.
"Sometimes you believe what you hear," he said. "People said, 'Oh don't worry about it.' Well that's what they said when I was up 3-0 against the Red Sox."
Said commissioner Bud Selig: “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."
Twelve votes were needed for election. The 16-member panel, which consists of Hall of Famers, baseball executives and media members, did not give any other candidate more than six votes. That includes former MLB Players Association director Marvin Miller or former Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
MLBPA executive director Tony Clark criticized the vote in a statement.
"Words cannot adequately describe the level of disappointment and disbelief I felt when learning that once again the Hall of Fame has chosen to ignore Marvin Miller and his unparalleled contributions to the growth and prosperity of Major League Baseball," Clark said. "Over the past 50 years, no individual has come close to matching Marvin’s impact on the sport. He proved to all involved in Major League Baseball, and to outside observers, that a healthy collective bargaining environment would benefit all the game's stakeholders.
"Today, players, owners, front office personnel, fans and the media owe Marvin a debt of gratitude. Despite the election results, Marvin’s legacy remains intact, and will only grow stronger, while the credibility of the Hall of Fame continues to suffer.”