Yankees: The Last Time NYY Brought Home the 4 Major MLB Awards
By Scott Roche
Manager of the Year: Joe Torre (1998)
Joe Torre led the Yankees to 114 regular-season wins to capture his second award in three years.
In 12 seasons as manager of the Yankees, Torre compiled an 1173-767 record, but the 1998 season was out of this world. New York won 114 games, captured the AL East by 22 games over the Boston Red Sox, and took home their first of three straight World Series titles.
Torre had an everyday lineup that could mash and each player hit at least 10 home runs that season. Tino Martinez led the Yankees with 28 homers and 123 RBI. Derek Jeter led the team with 203 hits and Bernie Williams had the highest average at .339. Filling out the lineup card every day was one of the easiest things Torre had to do.
The rotation consisted of Orlando Hernandez, David Wells, David Cone, Hideki Irabu and Andy Pettitte. Wells, Cone and Pettitte pitched had at least 30 starts and went over 200 innings, while Irabu (173) and Hernandez (141) each had over 20 starts. The bullpen was anchored by Mariano Rivera, who had 36 saves in 54 appearances.
Torre was hired by George Steinbrenner in 1996 after Buck Showalter was fired. After managing the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves for a combined 14 season from 1977-1995, his only postseason appearance was with the ’82 Braves.
But he brought a calm presence to the Bronx and installed a tension defusing attitude that allowed his teams to go out and get the job done.
The Yankees rolled through the playoffs that season. They swept the Texas Rangers in Divisional Round and then took down the Cleveland Indians in six games in the ALCS. They finished their record-breaking season with a four-game sweep of the San Diego Padres in the World Series.
Torre had the best job in baseball in 1998, whether it was writing out the lineup card on a nightly basis or just sitting back and watching his talented team roll their way through an unforgettable summer.
Side note: how did Aaron Boone not earn Manager of the Year after taking a decimated Yankees team with 30 injured players in 2019 to 103 wins and the ALCS. Come on, MLB.