MODERATOR BRAD HORN: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Brad Horn. I am vice president of communications and education for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Thank you for attending our 2013 Expansion Era Committee Announcement. Before we begin today, I’d like to introduce you to our guests, and also remind you that all information that you hear today will shortly be available at our website baseballhall.org. Following formal remarks we will have a Q and A for the dais.
Three committee members, representing the BBWAA, Jack O’Connell. To his left, former Major League executive, Andy MacPhail. To his left, National Baseball Hall of Fame member and Hall of Fame board member Phil Niekro. And to my left, your right, Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson. It is my honor and pleasure to introduce the chairman of the board of the National Hall of Fame Board and Museum, Jane Forbes Clark.
JANE FORBES CLARK: Thank you, Brad, and thank you all for being here with us today.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 16 member Expansion Era Committee met here yesterday to consider 12 candidates for the Hall of Fame election, whose greatest contributions to the game were realized from 1973 to the present.
The ballot selected by an 11 member historical overview committee of the Baseball Writers Association of America was comprised of six former players, four managers, and two executives.
I’d like to introduce you to the 16 members of the Expansion Era Committee, some of them are here today with us in the front row and on the dais. And I’d like to ask them to stand when I introduce them.
Paul Beeston, Rod Carew, Andre Dawson, Carlton Fisk, Whitey Herzog, Steve Hirdt, Bruce Jenkins, Tommy Lasorda, Andy MacPhail, Paul Molitor, Dave Montgomery, Phil Niekro, Jack O’Connell, Jim Reeves, Jerry Reinsdorf and Frank Robinson.
I am so happy to tell you that the Committee has unanimously elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame a man who managed 29 seasons in the Major Leagues, recording 2,504 victories, the fourth highest total in Major League history. His teams won five pennants and the 1995 World Series. From 1991 to 2005 his Atlanta Braves team recorded an amazing 14 consecutive 1st place finishes. Please welcome the newest member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Bobby Cox.
BOBBY COX: Thank you so much. They say when you’re voted to the Hall of Fame your life changes, I heard that from the Committee members this morning. And it has, I’ve got goose bumps and it’s the greatest honor that we could ever have and I’m excited to be in Cooperstown in July and get inducted. And hopefully two guys that helped get me to the Hall of Fame, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux will be inducted, as well. And I just want to say thanks to Bill Lucas for giving me my first Major League job with the Atlanta Braves in 1978, Pat Gillick, who was my GM in Toronto, and I worked for him in the Yankee organization, and John Schuerholz. Without them, I wouldn’t be standing here today. Thank you so much, it’s a great honor.
JANE FORBES CLARK: The Committee has also unanimously elected another manager to the Hall of Fame today, he managed 33 seasons in the Major Leagues, won 2,728 games, the third most in Major League history. His teams won six pennants and three World Series titles: The 1989 Oakland A’s, the 2006 and 2011 St. Louis Cardinals, now he’s a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, class of 2014, Tony LaRussa.
TONY LA RUSSA: Good morning. The best way to describe the feeling is I keep thinking back to the way I was raised. My parents will always tell you: Dream the big dream. And if you’re a baseball fanatic, then playing in the big leagues, maybe part of the championship that was a dream, and pursued it and sometimes they come true. But never, ever was the Hall of Fame part of that dream, never. And so it’s a stunner. But when you love baseball and you appreciate the history and the club that you’ve just been voted into, and your total respect, humility and honor, I say thank you.
JANE FORBES CLARK: And the Committee’s work didn’t stop there. They unanimously, again, elected a third member to the Hall of Fame. His managerial career spanned 29 seasons, totaling 2,326 victories, the fifth most all time in Major League history. His teams won six pennants and four World Series titles, as he led the New York Yankees to one of the most dominant stretches in baseball history.
He also played 18 seasons in the Major Leagues, posting a career .297 batting average. Today he joins the National Baseball Hall of Fame, please welcome Hall of Famer, Joe Torre.
JOE TORRE: I was always trying to be like blase about this, saying that it’s something I never obsessed about, because I had no control over it. But when the phone call comes and I hung up on Jane Clark the first time she called this morning, not meaning to, but I didn’t have my glasses on, it hits you like a sledgehammer. I can’t tell you how excited I am.
And then what makes it even better is to go in with these two guys who, you know, we waged a lot of battles against each other, and it’s just a great, great feeling. And I don’t know what else I can say. You guys are going to ask some questions, and I’m going to break down, so I’ll just sit down for a second.
JANE FORBES CLARK: 12 votes were needed to reach the 75 percent necessary to earn election to the Hall of Fame. As I have said to you, Bobby, Tony, and Joe were unanimous selections with 16 votes.
The other candidates on the ballot, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Billy Martin, Marvin Miller, Dave Parker, Dan Quisenberry, Ted Simmons, and George Steinbrenner each received 6 votes or fewer.
And on behalf of the board of directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, I would like to thank the Committee again for their great work. It was a great day yesterday. It’s a great day today. Bobby, Tony and Joe will all be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday, July 27th, 2014 in Cooperstown. And they will be joined by any electees who emerge from the BBWAA voting in January, and we announce that on January 8th in New York City.
And as all of you know, they’ll be joined Hall of Fame weekend by Joe Garagiola, who on Thursday was named recipient of the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.
We are so looking forward to honoring Joe in July at our Saturday awards ceremony, the day before the induction. And he’ll be there along with the winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award which will be announced Tuesday by the BBWAA and the winner of the Ford C. Frick Award, which will be announced on Wednesday.
All of that said, I will now turn the podium back over to Brad for a Q and A portion of this. Thank you.