Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hall of Fame Signed Baseball - Joe Torre

I picked up one more Hall of Fame signed baseball while at the National Card Show in this Joe Torre.  I got a great deal on this ball when I bundled it with another ball that I will show in a later post (a future Hall of Famer).

Torre (b. 1940) played in the majors from 1960 to 1977 for the Braves (Milwaukee and Atlanta), Cardinals and Mets.  He had 2,342 hits, 252 home runs and a .297 lifetime batting average.  He was the 1971 NL MVP when he had 230 hits, 137 RBIs and an NL leading .363 batting average.  He was also a 9-time All Star.  As a player, Torre appeared on fifteen BBWAA Hall of Fame ballots (1983 to 1997), but could only gain as high as 22.2% of the vote (on his final ballot).

As a manager, however, is how Torre really gained election to the Hall.  He managed in the majors from 1977 to 1981 with the Mets, 1982 to 1984 with the Braves, 190 to 1995 with the Cardinals, 1996 to 2007 with the Yankees and 2008 to 2010 with the Dodgers.

Prior to his time with the Yankees, Torre was a fairly middling manager.  He had some success with the Braves, reaching the playoffs, but losing in the NLCS 3-0 to the Cardinals.  Torre took over the Yankees in 1996 and went on to win 4 World Series titles (1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000).  His career managerial record is 2,326-1997 (.538 win percentage).

Torre was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2014 by the Veterans Committee and is my 127th Hall of Famer.
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