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Joe Torre Becomes 50th Yankee in the Baseball Hall of Fame

Native New Yorker Joe Torre will have the distinction of being the 50th person from the New York Yankees to be a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in upstate Cooperstown when he is inducted this summer along with Bobby Cox. Born in Brookyn, Torre played for and managed the New York Mets but was elected into the hallowed halls on his tenure as the crosstown Yankees pilot when he led the team to four World Series championships in a five-year period.

“On behalf of the Steinbrenner family and our entire organization, I’d like to congratulate Joe Torre on his induction today into the Hall of Fame,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement released by the team. “Joe led our team during one of the most successful runs in our storied history, and he did it with a quiet dignity that was true to the Yankee way. Joe’s place in Yankees history has been secure for quite some time and it is appropriate that he now gets to take his place among the greats in Cooperstown.”

In 12 seasons as manager of the Yankees from 1996-2007, he compiled a 1,173-767 (.605) regular season record and 76-47 (.618) postseason mark, with the club being a playoff team in each and every one of those campaigns.

“Joe was a tremendous manager, and this is such a richly deserved honor,” said current Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, who took over the job in 2007. “I was incredibly fortunate to have played and coached for Joe, and I learned so many nuances into managing from him. The first thing I think of is how much of an importance he placed on developing and cultivating relationships. Not only with players, but with everyone he came in contact with. It’s something that was the bedrock for his success.”

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Torre also played 2,209 games over 18 Major League seasons as a catcher, first baseman and third baseman with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves (1960-68), St. Louis Cardinals (1969-74) and New York Mets (1975-77), batting .297 (2,342-for-7,874) with 996 runs, 344 doubles, 252 home runs and 1,185 runs batted in. He was a nine-time All-Star (1963-67, ’70-73), one-time Gold Glove Award winner at catcher (1965) and captured the 1971 NL Most Valuable Player Award, leading the Majors with a .363 (230-for-634) batting average, 137 runs batted in and 352 total bases, while hitting 24 home runs.

“Mr. Torre is like a second father to me,” said Yankees captain Derek Jeter. “I learned so much from him, but what sticks with me the most is the way he treated everyone with respect and fairness. In my opinion, it was his greatest attribute. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this honor.”

There are now 50 Yankees enshrined in the Hall of Fame, including former players, managers, coaches, owners and general managers of the club.

Source: Michael Margolis/New York Yankees

Photo by Bill Menzel

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