After no living inductees were admitted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame last year, the Expansion Era Committee has selected three managers: Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre – each of whom rank in the top five on the all-time list of wins as managers.
Each was each named on all of the 16 electors’ ballots, easily clearing the 75% level necessary for election. The Expansion Era Committee considered a ballot of six former players, four managers and two executives whose contributions to the game were most significant from 1973 to the present. The Expansion Era Committee held meetings on Sunday, Dec. 8, in Orlando, FL, site of Baseball’s Winter Meetings.
Cox, La Russa and Torre will be joined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2014 by any electees who emerge from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voting, which will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 8.
Hall of Fame Weekend 2014 is July 25-28 in Cooperstown, with the Induction Ceremony slated for Sunday, July 27, 2014.
Also this week at the Winter Meetings, two Hall of Fame award winners will be announced, with the BBWAA selecting its annual J.G. Taylor Spink Award tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 10, for meritorious contributions to baseball writing. On Wednesday, Dec. 11, the Museum will announce the Ford C. Frick Award winner, given for excellence in baseball broadcasting.
The 16-member Expansion Era Committee commissioned with the review of the 12-name ballot of manages, executives and long-retired players was comprised of Hall of Fame members Rod Carew, Andre Dawson, Carlton Fisk, Whitey Herzog, Tommy Lasorda, Paul Molitor, Phil Niekro and Frank Robinson; major league executives Paul Beeston, Andy MacPhail, David Montgomery and Jerry Reinsdorf; and veteran historians Steve Hirdt, Bruce Jenkins, Jack O’Connell and Jim Reeves. Hall of Fame Chairman of the Board Jane Forbes Clark served as the non-voting chairman of the Expansion Era Committee.
Results of the Expansion Era Ballot (12 votes needed for election): Bobby Cox (16 votes, 100%); Tony La Russa (16 votes, 100%); Joe Torre (16 votes, 100%); Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Billy Martin, Marvin Miller, Dave Parker, Dan Quisenberry, Ted Simmons and George Steinbrenner each received six or fewer votes.
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Cox skippered the Braves and Blue Jays for 29 seasons, leading his teams to 15 first-place finishes. From 1991-2005, Cox led the Braves to 14 straight seasons where they finished in playoff position. The Braves won five National League pennants and the 1995 World Series under Cox, who finished with 2,504 victories – the fourth-best total of all time. He won the BBWAA’s Manager of the Year Award four times.
La Russa managed the White Sox, A’s and Cardinals for 33 seasons, winning 2,728 games – the third-highest total of all time behind Hall of Famers Connie Mack and John McGraw. He led his teams to 12 first-place finishes, six pennants and three World Series titles – one with the A’s (1989) and two with the Cardinals (2006 and 2011). His teams won 100-or-more games four times and was named the BBWAA’s Manager of the Year in his league four times.
Torre led the Yankees to six AL pennants and four World Series titles (1996, 1998-2000) in his 12 seasons in New York, and also managed the Mets, Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers – winning one division title with Atlanta and two with Los Angeles. His 2,326 wins in 29 seasons rank fifth on the all-time list, and Torre was twice named Manager of the Year by the BBWAA (1996, 1998). In his final 15 seasons as a manager, Torre led his clubs to the postseason 14 times. Torre also spent 18 seasons as a big league catcher/third baseman, earning nine All-Star Game selections and winning the 1971 NL Most Valuable Player Award.
The Expansion Era Committee will next consider candidates in 2016 for the 2017 Induction year, as the process to consider candidates by era repeats on a three-year cycle. In 2014, the Golden Era Committee – which met previously in 2011 – will consider candidates whose main career contributions came from 1947-72. In 2015, the Pre-Integration Era Committee – which met previously in 2012 – will consider candidates whose main career contributions came from baseball’s origins through 1946. Committees will continue to meet at the Winter Meetings.
The Expansion Era ballot was devised by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America-appointed Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran members, which screened all eligible players, managers, umpires and executives to develop the final 12-name ballot: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune), Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch), Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau), Bill Madden (New York Daily News), Ken Nigro (formerly Baltimore Sun), Jack O’Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer), Tracy Ringolsby (MLB.com), Glenn Schwarz (formerly San Francisco Chronicle), Claire Smith (ESPN) and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).