Friday, June 2, 2023


The next National League player given a card in my 1977 "Centennial" sub-set celebrating the 100th anniversary season of 1976, future Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre of the New York Mets:

By the 1977 season Torre was a Player-Manager (remember those?) for the New York Mets after a distinguished career playing for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals.
By the time the 1978 season opened, Torre became a full-time manager, thus ending a rock-solid 18-year career that saw him finish second in Rookie of the Year voting in 1961, and win a Most Valuable Player Award in 1971.
It's easy to forget that Torre's career was so good for some reason.
A nine-time all-star, Torre excelled while catching, playing third base, and even first base over his Major League tenure.
Of course the 1971 season was his high-point, leading the league in batting (.363), hits (230), total bases (352) and runs batted in (137).
But the guy also topped 200 hits the year before, hit more than 20 homers in a season six times, drove in over 100 five times and batted .300 or better five times.
By the time he hung up the playing cleats, Torre retired with: 996 runs scored, 2342 hits, 252 homers, 1185 R.B.I.'s and a nice .297 batting average.
But it was his post-playing career that got him inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014 by the Veteran's Committee.
As a manager over the course of 29 seasons for the Mets, Braves, Cardinals, Yankees and Dodgers, Torre won 2326 games and took home six pennants and four world championships.
Not bad for a kid from the neighborhood!



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