Tony LaRussa, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox were unanimously elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame Monday by the 16-man Expansion Era committee. A year after the BBWAA famously elected nobody to the Hall, this coming summer’s ceremony in Cooperstown could be very crowded with players like Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas on the ballot.
The trio of managers elected each patrolled a big league dugout at least 29 years and won 2,300 games or more. LaRussa won three World Series total with the Athletics and Cardinals, Torre famously won four with the Yankees (and moved a bunch of Subways sandwiches) while Cox won once with the Braves. Cox was also ejected 158 times in his career.
However you want to look at it, the three managers elected were certainly worthy of induction. Fittingly LaRussa (2,758), Cox (2,504) and Torre (2,326) are Nos. 3-5 in all-time managerial wins, trailing only Connie Mack and John McGraw.
The most notable names missing the cut were former Union leader Marvin Miller and former Yankees owner George Steinbrener. Miller has become a cause célèbre in recent years but it doesn’t appear that his enshrinement will happen any time soon.
We now turn our attention to the vote on Jan. 9 to complete the Hall’s Class of 2014. It’s probably not a good idea to hold your breath on former LaRussa cleanup hitter Mark McGwire or Torre’s former ace Roger Clemens joining them on the dais next summer in upstate New York.