Monday, July 28, 2014
"I'M HERE BECAUSE OF THE NEW YORK YANKEES."
The MLB Hall of Fame. The home of the most talented individuals to have represented the MLB. It just got a whole lot cooler! This year, joining the likes of the great Babe Ruth, and Lou Gehrig, were Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa, and our own Joe Torre.
Yes, OUR Joe Torre. Torre of Torre's Terrors. The leader of the Elite Five. The manager who led the dynasty. The Torre who opened his speech with "I'm here because of the New York Yankees." Indeed, our Torre.
Torre being inducted into the HOF as manager was perfection to me. He is a hero to me. The captain at the helm when the team won the first world series of my lifetime. He is as big a part of that Dynasty era as Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. And yeah, the Yankees have a long list of impressive managers, but Torre was it for me. You can watch his speech HERE if you missed it.
Despite being asked to keep his speech to 10 minutes, the old Yankees skipper went on for 28 minutes. Not at all complaining though. He entertained with stories of his time with the Yankees. He forgot to mention George Steinbrenner, and was very upset by the fact (HERE). "I missed mentioning the most obvious guy in the world... It was so obvious that I was going to do it that I went right passed it -- the whole Steinbrenner family. It's the proudest time in my whole career and I feel terrible that I omitted that."
Still, it was an incredible speech to me. He recounted stories of his time with the Yankees. Mentioned players whom he managed, and even confirmed that they do practice the flip play, despite a certain non-believers thoughts on it. He thanked Don Zimmer, crediting him for making him the manager he was. And he thanked us, the Yankee fans. Saying "You have turned New York City into a small town for me."
All the 2014 Hall of Fame inductees have earned a spot in there. But Torre holds a special spot for me. He is to me what Billy Martin is for the older generation, and what Joe Girardi will be for my children. One day I will visit Cooperstown with my grand kids, and I will be able to say "This manager we have... he will never be like Joe Torre. Now THAT was a manager. I miss him."
Congratulations to all the 2014 inductees, and a special BYB congratulations to Torre! You the manager!