The announcement this week that Joe Torre is entering the Hall of Fame as a New York Yankee should make Yankees fans proud. His choice reflects where his heart beats, and that is in pinstripes.
“When I became the manager of the New York Yankees, it was an opportunity to realize my lifelong dream of winning the World Series,” Torre said in a statement. “We were fortunate enough to succeed in our first season in 1996, and in the years that followed, we wrote some great new chapters in Yankee history. I am honored that I will wear the Yankee logo on my cap in Cooperstown to represent what our teams achieved together.”
Sure, Torre´s success is well documented. He guided the Yankees to four World Series Championships. The admiration of his former players, especially Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, has shown that he is much more than a man who filled out lineup cards and called for pitching changes.
This is the real glory in his Hall of Fame story, his caring for others and his desire to have a positive effect on the lives that he touches. Through their Safe At Home Foundation, Torre and his wife Ali combat the sadness and terrors of domestic violence. Physical and emotional abuse are the real batters they want to strike out.
“Domestic violence is a national tragedy that remains mostly hidden behind closed doors, affecting families of all cultures and economic means,” he said. “Our Foundation has yielded positive results in New York, and Ali and I have been eager to bring its work to the West Coast. Every child has the right to feel Safe At Home.¨
Too often in our society, whether it is through physical or emotional abuse, bullying is allowed to happen when it should not. More than all of his success in the dugout and between the foul lines, Torre´s desire to stand up and fight it is what makes him a a Hall of Fame person.
So when he stands on that podium wearing the Yankees cap, Yankees fans should feel proud of his choice. This is a man who measures himself not by the games he has won, but by lives he has helped to make better.