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December 9, 2013

Torre, La Russa, Cox elected to baseball Hall

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox, baseball's winningest managers over the past four decades, were unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame on Monday by the expansion era committee.

All three won more than 2,000 games and were selected on all 16 ballots when the committee met Sunday ahead of baseball's winter meetings.

"Managing against them, you certainly learned things," said Torre, now an executive vice president for Major League Baseball. "I am honored to go into the Hall with these two guys."

Induction ceremonies will be held July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Torre became the fifth manager to win four World Series championships, leading the Yankees to titles in 1996 and from 1998-00 — beating Cox's Braves twice. After making only one trip to the playoffs in 14 seasons with the New York Mets, St. Louis and Atlanta, Torre guided the Yankees to the postseason in all 12 of his years in New York with a cool, patient demeanor. His popularity rankled owner George Steinbrenner, who didn't receive the necessary 75 percent of the vote for election in his second appearance on the ballot.

Torre finished his career by leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to two NL West titles in three seasons, retiring after 2010 with a record of 2,326-1,997. He's the only manager to have more than 2,000 hits as a player — he was the 1971 NL MVP — and 2,000 wins in the dugout.

"Joe taught a lot of us about how to win the right way and lose the right way," La Russa said.

The strategy saavy La Russa won World Series titles with Oakland in 1989 and with St. Louis in 2006 and '11, retiring days after beating the Texas Rangers in a seven-game thriller. Of the nine managers with three or more World Series titles, the other seven all have been inducted.

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