New York Yankee all-time greatest managers – No. 3: Joe Torre
Torre was one of the best catchers whoever played the game. A nine-time All-Star, Torre won the 1971 NL MVP Award after leading the major leagues in batting average, hits, and RBIs. He finished his career with a .297 batting average, 2,342 hits, 252 home runs, and 1,185 RBIs. During his career, he played for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, and New York Mets.
Initially referred to as “Clueless Joe” by the skeptical New York media, Torre showed that he was anything but clueless during the twelve years in which he managed the Yanks. Up until then, he had been fired by three different teams and never had been to a World Series as either a player or a manager. Yet, he led the Yanks to World Series victories on four of six occasions, including three in a row (1998-2000).
All 13 of his Yankee teams advanced to the playoffs, and his teams won 10 division crowns and six AL pennants. He finished with a 1,173-767 won-loss record for an impressive winning percentage of .605, thanks to Mariano Rivera and the other members of the “core four.”
He was selected AL manager of the year twice (1996 and 1998). Torre was unanimously elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a manager in 2014 by the Expansion Era Committee. He is a Monument Park honoree.
In his time in the Bronx, Torre earned the respect, trust, admiration, and affection of Yankee fans and his players. Throughout the Bombers’ dynasty in the late 1990s, he dealt with the spotlight of the New York media with aplomb.