Joe Torre has been involved in MLB for the better part of five decades. The Brooklyn native spent 18 seasons in the majors as a player, five seasons in the broadcast booth and over two decades as a manager for five different organizations. His contribution to the game is undeniable. There was doubt however, over whether the ex-New York Yankees skipper belonged in the Hall of Fame or not.
As a player, Torre was a nine time All-Star who finished his career with a .297 career batting average and 2,342 hits. He won a Gold Glove in 1965, and went on to win both the batting title and National League MVP in 1971. Torre was a solid baseball player who would have been right on the verge of Cooperstown had his contributions to baseball ended with his playing career.
What got Torre into the Hall of Fame was his time spent as a manager, primarily his time as manager of the Yankees. Before joining the Yankees, Torre was merely an average manager for the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals. He never led a team to a World Series and was fired from each job due to poor performance. It was Torre’s time in pinstripes that solidified his position in Cooperstown.
As the Yankees’ skipper, Torre won Manager of the Year twice (1996 and 1998) and led the team to four World Series titles. The Yankees made the playoffs in each of his 12 seasons in the Bronx, winning the American League Championship Series in six of those seasons. Before leaving New York for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Torre accumulated a 1,173-767 record with a 60.5 percent winning percentage.
Torre finished his time as a manager with the Dodgers. After leading Los Angeles to two NLCS, Torre announced his retirement at the end of the 2012 season. He finished with 2,326 career wins, fifth all-time. Torre has earned his spot in Cooperstown. While his career as an above average player may not have been enough, Torre’s accomplishments as a manager are undoubtedly deserving of a place in the Hall of Fame.