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Joe Torre is the host of Sacrifice is Not Just a Bunt. He will always be associated with the New York Yankees, one of the most fabled franchises in sports history. When he was named Manager of the New York Yankees in 1995, the team went on to win six American League Pennants and four World Series Championships. Before becoming a coach, Joe Torre played catcher, first base and third base for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets. During his seventeen-year career, Joe Torre compiled a .297 batting average, had 2,342 hits, 252 home runs and 1,185 RBI’s, hit over .300 five times in his career, and was a nine-time All-Star.
Joe Torre was born on July 18, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in New York City. Joe Torre was the youngest of four siblings and grew up watching his older brothers play baseball. In 1958, Joe Torre graduated from St. Francis Prep School in Brooklyn.
Joe Torre came from a family of talented baseball players. Joe Torre’s older brother, Frank, was first baseman for the Phillies and the Milwaukee Braves. In 1960, Joe Torre followed in Frank’s footsteps by ascending to the majors with the Milwaukee Braves, at times playing first base like Frank, but excelling as a catching. While playing for the Braves, Joe Torre was honored as the catcher on The Sporting News All-Star Team from 1964-1966, and received the National League Gold Glove Award in 1965. After the Braves moved to Atlanta, Joe Torre hit the first regular season home run in Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium, and still holds the record for most home runs (36) in a single season (1966) by a Braves catcher.
In 1971, Joe Torre, now playing for the St. Louis Cardinals, was selected as the National League MVP, having led the league with a .363 batting average, 230 hits, 137 RBI’s and 352 total bases. Joe Torre earned four consecutive All-Star selections (1970-1973) while with the Cardinals. Following the 1974 season, Joe Torre was traded to the New York Mets where he would finish his playing career and begin his managing career.
Joe Torre made his managerial debut with the New York Mets on May 31, 1977, becoming the first player-manager in the Majors since 1959. Joe Torre became the Mets full-time skipper just eighteen days later. Joe Torre managed the Mets through the 1981 season, but was unable to post a winning season and was soon fired.
Joe Torre was given a second chance at managing when he took over as manager of the Atlanta Braves, and led them to the National League Western Division title in his first season. In 1982, Joe Torre was named the Associated Press Manager of the Year for leading the Atlanta Braves to a division title. However, the next two seasons the Braves finished second in the division and Torre was again fired.
In 1990, Joe Torre returned to baseball to manage the St. Louis Cardinals, where he posted a poor 351-354 record. Joe Torre’s third chance to prove himself as a successful manager was lost shortly into his fifth season with the Cardinals when he was once again fired after posting 20 wins and 27 losses less than 50 games into the season.
At this point in his career, Joe Torre believed the door to managing had been slammed shut. He had managed the three teams he had played for, and had been fired by all of them.
Yet to the surprise of all especially Joe Torre himself Joe Torre was named manager of the New York Yankees on November 2, 1995. In becoming the 31st manager in team history, he joined Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra and Dallas Green as the fourth skipper to wear both Yankee and New York Met uniforms. While many were confused by George Steinbrenner’s choice given Joe Torre’s less-than-stellar managing record, Torre would rely on the lessons he learned in wins and in losses to inform his inspiring leadership of the New York Yankees.
Not long after taking the helm, Joe Torre led the 1996 Yankees to their first World Series title since 1978. He was named Sportsman of the Year by The Sporting News and Co-American League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. After a return to post-season competition in 1997, Joe Torre led the Yankees to 114 wins during the 1998 regular season, an American League record, and a four-game sweep of the San Diego Padres in the 1998 World Series. Once again, Joe Torre was named American League Manager of the Year, and the season earned him his second AP Manager of the Year Award. In the 1999 series, the Yankees swept the Atlanta Braves, winning their 12th straight World Series games. The 2000 World Series title was the 26th overall for the Yankees, the most of any team in professional sports. They are just the third team to win four titles in five years, the other two also being Yankees’ teams.
In nearly 50 years in professional baseball, Joe Torre has played or managed in nearly 6,000 games. Joe Torre has been the manager of the New York Yankees for over a decade, leading the team to the playoffs every year under his tenure. He has led the Yankees to six World Series appearances, winning four World Series Championships, most recently in 2000.
In 2002, Joe Torre and his wife Ali launched the Joe Torre Safe at Home Foundation whose mission is to develop educational programs that will end the cycle of domestic violence and save lives. He and his wife reside in Westchester County, New York. They have four children.