Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, and Bobby Cox talk at Baseball Hall of Fame Press Conference

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Q. Congratulations all three of you, this question is for Joe. Joe, we know how the World Series was your goal, and how emotional you were when you won it. How does today compare to 1996?
Dec 9, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Joe Torre speaks after being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame during the MLB Winter Meetings at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Torre was voted in unanimously with former managers Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox. Image Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
JOE TORRE: Well, it’s different. It’s different. You know, I always obsessed about a World Series. And I remember Ali saying after going in ’96, that’s it, let’s go retire. And I said let’s see if we can do it again. You know, it’s a different feeling because you sort of proactively you have something to do in trying to win a World Series. This was, you know, being inducted in the Hall of Fame is really somebody else’s opinion. You look at the people who voted for us to get in and look at the quality of these baseball people and players that you admire, that means a lot, because anytime you are recognized by your peers, I think those are the only guys that really know how tough it is to do what you do.

So it’s very different. I really can’t tell you. I mean, I thought as I said earlier, not that I was blase, just sort of the decision was somebody else’s, so I really never obsessed about it. But once it happened, man, it was like being hit with a sledgehammer. And I’m a little fearful to think about the end of July at this point in time. But hopefully I’ll have my thoughts together.

Q. Just wanted to ask Phil Niekro, you were managed by both Bobby and Joe, you competed against Tony’s teams in the American League. Can you talk about what made Bobby and Joe such special managers and any memories you have also of Tony?

PHIL NIEKRO: Well, I played against Joe and Bobby. I played for Joe and Bobby. Tony and I were roommates not roommates, but we played together in the Braves organization in the Instructional League in 1944 something like that (laughter).

When I think of these guys, I think of respect by their players, their fans, their whole organization, they’re men of integrity and character. And I was honored and privileged to play for these guys. Played against Tony a little bit. But you knew when these guys were managing that you were going to see well managed ballgames.

We’re in Disney World right now, this is the “magical kingdom,” I think we just hired three kings of the managers. It’s a magical day for each and every one of them. And we’re so excited to have them in the Hall of Fame.

MODERATOR BRAD HORN: Ladies and gentlemen, thanks for being a part of this historic day for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.