The first official sign of a big 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Weekend came from the Expansion Era Committee on Monday with the unanimous elections of World Series champion managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre.
“It couldn’t be more perfect from my point of view,” La Russa said during a private phone interview less than four hours after the vote. “I admire and respect Joe and Bobby.
“Bobby I had so many hard-fought battles over the years, but he was always fair,” he continued. “He was a tough competitor. Joe Torre, too; he never showed anybody up. He always did it the right way.”
Cox, La Russa and Torre, who rank in the top five on the all-time wins list as managers, appeared on all 16 of the ballots cast. A minimum of 12 votes was necessary to reach the 75 percent required for election. None of the other candidates — Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Billy Martin, Marvin Miller, Dave Parker, Dan Quisenberry, Ted Simmons and George Steinbrenner — received more than six votes.
La Russa said he had spoken to Cox and Torre about who might go into the Hall of Fame with them in July. The threesome agreed on several candidates, he said, including Atlanta Braves pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux, along with Jack Morris.
“Glavine and Maddux, I just think those 300 wins get you in,” La Russa said of two marquee pitchers who threw for Cox. “And that is painful for me because a good deal of those wins came against us.
“Jack Morris, I tell you, Joe and Bobby and I, all three of us believe that Jack Morris deserves to get in on his last time on the ballot,” he continued.
Morris was a five-time All-Star and the 1991 World Series MVP. He went 254-186 with 2,478 strikeouts career.