Not only has former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre been elected to the Hall of Fame, but he has accomplished something that has become a rarity in Hall of Fame inductions. Just what has he accomplished that is so rare?
Torre was voted in unanimously by the Expansion Era Committee. That is a tremendous accolade for a man who deserves the recognition both as a player and a manager.
Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman characterized it like this, “Obviously deserved. Not unexpected,” Cashman said. “I thought he should be a first-ballot [Hall of Famer], and he was. He’s right where he belongs. He did amazing work while he was with us.” Cashman indicated that his number 6 will soon be honored in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park.
As the Yankees skipper, Torre guided them to six American League pennants and four World Series championships. Those came from 1996-2007. He became synonymous with the Yankees Core Four: Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte and Jorge Posada.
Torre said of his time with the Yankees. “My 12 years in New York were very, very special, the fans were very special, and it’s something I will take with me wherever I go and into retirement.”
Torre not only made the right moves in game situations, but he helped his players to become better men.
Derek Jeter expressed just how special of a man Torre is, “Mr. Torre is like a second father to me. 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.”
Perhaps Torre’s greatest attribute was his demeanor. No matter what the situation, he was able to keep a level head.
Andy Pettitte explained, “I’m so excited for Joe. In many ways, he was the pulse of all those championship teams. The one thing about Joe is that he never panicked, and that type of calm demeanor allowed us to go out and do the things we were capable of doing. He was a great teacher and father figure to all of us.”
So thank you, Joe, from all Yankees fans. You led the Yankees with the class of Joe DiMaggio and the integrity of Lou Gehrig. You showed that greatness can be achieved through intelligence and dedication. You won, and you did it the “right” way. That’s an example to all of us, no matter what our walk of life.