ORLANDO -- Monday at baseball's Winter Meetings, the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum's Jane Forbes Clark announced the election of three new Hall of Famers: ex-managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, and Joe Torre.
All three were on this year's Expansion Era Committee ballot, which was considered by a 16-member panel consisting of eight Hall of Fame players, four executives, and four historians. Twelve votes were needed for election, but Cox, La Russa and Torre were all unanimous selections. The credentials of all three are unimpeachable:
Among the three, La Russa has most wins, Cox the highest winning percentage, Torre the most World Series titles.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 9, 2013
La Russa's also No. 3 on the all-time wins list, followed immediately by Cox and Torre ... and the next six managers on that list have already been enshrined. So with all three, it was never a question of if, but rather when. And now we know the "when" is 2014, the first year of eligibility for each (not including Torre's years under consideration for his playing career).
Missing once again this year? Marvin Miller, who headed the Players Association from 1966 to 1982. This was Miller's fourth try, and his second via the Expansion Era committee. Before he died in 2012, Miller said he would prefer not to be considered by the Hall of Fame any longer, calling the process a farce. This time around, Miller -- along with Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Billy Martin, Dave Parker, Dan Quisenberry, Ted Simmons, and George Steinbrenner -- received six or fewer votes. Miller's poor showing was surprising, because three years ago he received 11 votes, just one short of election.
The threw new Hall of Famers were announced in alphabetical order, and appeared from behind a curtain. Cox came first, and expressed his hopes that Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, both on the BBWAA's ballot this year, will join him in Cooperstown next summer as new electees. La Russa was next, and described himself as "stunned." He said he'd never even dreamed, when he was growing up, about the Hall of Fame. Torre said when he found out he'd been elected, the news hit him "like a sledgehammer," and the honor was all the better because of Cox and La Russa.