Sunday, March 2, 2014

1978 Topps Baseball #109 - Joe Torre

  • Joe Torre didn't inherit a good situation in his first managing job. The New York Mets had traded away a lot of good players (especially the great Tom Seaver) and were struggling to field a decent team. Joe became a player-manager on May 31, 1977. That lasted only a few weeks -- Torre retired as a player in late June.
  • The Mets weren't a good team during Torre's tenure with the club. They overhauled their entire pitching staff in 1977 and in 1978, and by 1979 they had only two experienced starting pitchers
  • Torre was let go as the Mets' manager at the end of the 1981 season. They had two last place finishes and two fifth place finishes during Torre's 3 1/2 seasons managing the club.
  • Three weeks after he was fired by the Mets Torre was hired to manage the Atlanta Braves. The Braves won the NL West under Torre in 1982 (he was  named NL Manager of the Year) and finished second in 1983. After a disappointing 80-82 finish in 1984 Joe was fired.
  • Torre was a color commentator for the California Angels from 1985-1990. 
  • Late in the 1990 season Joe was hired to replace Whitey Herzog as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals had winning records in each of Torre's full seasons as manager, but they never made the playoffs. Torre was fired during the 1995 season.
  • Joe became the manager of the New York Yankees in 1996. The team had a great run of success during Joe's tenure as manager. They won four world championships, six AL pennants, and made the playoff every season from 1996-2007. Torre had the second longest managerial tenure in team history. Only Joe McCarthy managed the team for a longer period of time.
  • After the 2007 season Torre turned down an offer to return to the Yankees (he would have had to take a pay cut) and took an offer to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers won the NL West in 2008 and in 2009. Torre stepped down as the Dodger manager after the 2010 season.
  • Torre now works for the Commissioner's office. He was selected to the Hall of Fame in 2013.
  • Managerial Record:
    • New York Mets (1977-1981): 286-420, .405
    • Atlanta Braves (1982-1984): 257-229, .529, 1 NL West title
    • St. Louis Cardinals (1990-1995): 351-354, .498
    • New York Yankees (1996-2007): 1173-767, .605, 6 AL pennants, 4 World Championships
    • Los Angeles Dodgers (2008-2010): 259-227, .533, 2 NL West titles
    • TOTAL: 2326-1997, .538, 5th all time in wins, 6th all time in losses
    • Awards: AL Manager of the Year 1996, 1998