See his Chasing the Dream (1997) and The Yankee Years (2008).
Joseph Paul Torre (born July 18, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York) is the current manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers and a former Major League Baseball player. He played for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals. He later managed all three teams, as well as the New York Yankees.
He had a fairly unimpressive managerial record with the Mets, Braves, and Cardinals, but during Torre's tenure as manager of the Yankees, from 1996 to 2007, the Yankees reached the post season each year and won ten American League East Division titles, six American League pennants, and four World Series titles, in addition to compiling a .605 winning percentage with them.
With 2,151 wins (through September 28, 2008), he presently ranks 7th in all-time Major League Baseball all-time managerial wins.
Torre spent the - seasons as a television analyst for the California Angels. While working as a guest analyst for ESPN during the 1989 World Series, Torre was on hand for the Loma Prieta earthquake (October 17, ).
However, it was with the Yankees that he enjoyed the greatest success of his managerial career, leading them to the playoffs in each of his twelve seasons (1996-2007) with the club. In , he was named Manager of the Year. Torre, building on the Yankees' Wild Card berth in 1995, made his first-ever trip to the "Fall Classic", leading the Yankees to their first World Series since 1981. Once there, the Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves. Steinbrenner tore up Torre's contract and gave him a new, more lucrative and longer contract as a reward.
The season was Torre's most successful. Despite a slow start that included losing four of the first five games of the season, the Yankees set a then-American League record of 114 regular season wins, including David Wells's perfect game on May 17. During the playoffs, the Yankees easily bested the Texas Rangers, fought off the Cleveland Indians for the AL pennant, and swept the San Diego Padres in the World Series. Torre won Manager of the Year honors, and the team is now widely regarded as one of the greatest baseball teams, along with the Yankee teams of 1927, and , the - Oakland Athletics, and the 1975-1976 Cincinnati Reds. When ESPN launched its Who's #1? series on June 15, , the 1998 Yankees topped the network's list of Best Teams over the years 1979 to 2003.
In 2004, Torre suffered his greatest setback, marking the end of the Yankees' dominance. After building a 3-0 lead in the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox, his team would go on to suffer the greatest collapse in baseball history and lose the next four games and the ALCS. The Red Sox would go on to win the World Series, ending their 86-year-long drought. The Red Sox later added another championship in 2007, as they took the AL East Division for the first time after eight years of finishing second to the Yankees.
During the season, Torre had to face numerous obstacles. The largest hurdle was losing star players such as Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui to long-term injuries, a problem that was alleviated by trading for Bobby Abreu and bringing up Melky Cabrera, who after a terrible six games in 2005, made an impressive mark in 2006. Pitching was once again another major issue for the team. Randy Johnson, in his second season with the team, was still inconsistent in many of his starts. After helping the Yankees in the second half of the 2005 season, Shawn Chacón and Aaron Small were both dropped from the team, with Chacón being traded to the Pirates on July 31 and Small being sent back to the minors, and being designated for assignment but never going anywhere, early in the season. Despite the problems, the Yankees won another AL East title.
On June 7, 2007, Torre got his 2000th win and became the first major league manager to win 2000 games and have 2000 hits. On June 29, 2007 against the Oakland Athletics, Torre had his 2,010th managerial win, overtaking Leo Durocher for 9th place on the MLB all-time managerial wins list. He passed Casey Stengel on the Yankees all time managerial wins list on August 22, 2007, defeating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for up his 1,150th victory with the team.
On September 26, 2007, Torre led the Yankees to their 13th consecutive postseason appearance, clinching with a win at Tampa Bay.
On October 7, 2007, after the Yankees lost two games to the Cleveland Indians in the Division Series, George Steinbrenner said in an interview that Torre's contract would not be renewed if the Yankees did not defeat the Indians. The Yankees saved their season, and potentially Torre's job, for one day, as they beat the Indians 8-4 in Game 3 at Yankee Stadium. Following the Yankees' 6-4 loss the following night, earning them another first-round exit, Torre's fate remained uncertain. That night, as Torre went out to make what would be his last pitching change with the team, the fans in Yankee Stadium gave Torre a standing ovation and chanted his name.
On October 18, 2007, the New York Yankees offered Torre a one-year contract with a $5,000,000 base pay and $1,000,000 bonuses, to be paid for each of three benchmarks the team reached: winning the American League Divisional Series; winning the American League Championship Series; and winning the World Series. Also, if the Yankees made it to the World Series, Joe Torre would pick up an option for a new contract for the following year. The contract, despite the pay cut, would still have kept Torre as the highest paid manager in the game. Torre turned down the offer, ending his era with the Yankees. On October 19, 2007, Torre held a news conference to explain his decision. After first thanking owner George Steinbrenner, he said: "I just felt the contract offer and the terms of the contract were probably the thing I had the toughest time with."
Torre brought two members of his 2007 Yankees coaching staff with him. Former Yankee great Don Mattingly, who had served as Torre's bench coach, was tabbed as the hitting coach, and third base coach Larry Bowa was brought in to fill the same position with the Dodgers. In January, 2008, Mattingly was moved to the role of special assignment coach for the 2008 season due to family concerns. He was replaced as hitting coach by Mike Easler. In addition, Torre brought in Bob Schaefer to be bench coach, and retained first base coach Mariano Duncan and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt from Little's staff. Ken Howell was promoted from Triple-A pitching coach to bullpen coach, completing his staff.
On March 31, 2008, Joe Torre made his managerial debut with the Dodgers in a 5-0 victory. Ironically, he would be managing several former Red Sox players, such as Manny Ramirez, Derek Lowe, and Nomar Garciaparra. On September 25, 2008, the Dodgers cliched the NL West title, giving Torre his 13th consecutive postseason appearance. October 4, 2008 saw Torre managing the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series, earning the Dodgers their first post season series victory since 1988.
He appeared in Sesame Street when he was brought by Baby Bear to help Telly catch a ball. Then, when he was walking back to a Yankees game, he threw the ball back to Telly, who caught it.
During the 2008 season, Torre appeared in TV ads for State Farm Insurance, poking fun at both himself and Hollywood stereotypes.
His older brother Frank was also a Major League Baseball player. He also had another brother, Rocco, who died in 1996.
Torre was treated for prostate cancer in 1999.
He is an avid thoroughbred horse racing enthusiast. He is a part owner of Sis City, winner of the 2005 Ashland Stakes at Keeneland Race Course. She had been the dominant 3-year-old filly that year until finishing fourth in the May 6 Kentucky Oaks. However, a few weeks later on June 26, Wild Desert, in which Torre is also a partner, won the $1 million Queen's Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown. Wild Desert is also partially owned by Keith Jones, an NHL player.
In October 2007, the Joe Torre Foundation partnered with Union City, New Jersey's Board of Education and the North Hudson Community Action Corporation (NHCAC) to create New Jersey's first Margaret's Place, at Union City's Jose Marti Middle School. Aspects of Union City's Margaret's Place will include a peer counseling program and an anti-violence campaign within the school, in order to encourage children to discuss family problems more freely, and training for teachers and counselors. The haven, which is housed in its own secure room at the school, was funded by a $325,000 grant from Verizon and is administered by health care professionals from North Hudson Community Action Corp.
|Won||Lost||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|New York Mets||1977||49||68||.419||6th in NL East||-||-||-|
|1978||66||96||.407||6th in NL East||-||-||-|
|1979||63||99||.389||6th in NL East||-||-||-|
|1980||67||95||.414||5th in NL East||-||-||-|
|19811||17||34||.333||5th in NL East||-||-||-|
|24||28||.462||4th in NL East||-||-||-|
|Atlanta Braves||1982||89||73||.549||1st in NL West||0||3||.000||Lost NLCS|
|1983||88||74||.543||2nd in NL West||-||-||-|
|1984||80||82||.494||3rd in NL West||-||-||-|
|ATL Total||257||229||.529||0||3||.000||1 Post Season Appearance|
|St. Louis Cardinals||1990||24||34||.414||6th in NL East||-||-||-|
|1991||84||78||.519||2nd in NL East||-||-||-|
|1992||83||79||.512||3rd in NL East||-||-||-|
|1993||87||75||.537||3rd in NL East||-||-||-|
|1994||53||61||.465||3rd in NL East||-||-||-|
|1995||20||27||.426||4th in NL East||-||-||-|
|New York Yankees||1996||92||70||.568||1st in AL East||11||4||.733||Won World Series|
|1997||96||66||.593||2nd in AL East - Wildcard Team||2||3||.400||Lost ALDS|
|1998||114||48||.704||1st in AL East||11||2||.846||Won World Series|
|1999||98||64||.605||1st in AL East||11||1||.917||Won World Series|
|2000||87||74||.540||1st in AL East||11||5||.688||Won World Series|
|2001||95||65||.594||1st in AL East||10||7||.588||Lost World Series|
|2002||103||58||.640||1st in AL East||1||3||.250||Lost ALDS|
|2003||101||61||.623||1st in AL East||9||8||.529||Lost World Series|
|2004||101||61||.623||1st in AL East||6||5||.545||Lost ALCS|
|2005||95||67||.586||1st in AL East||2||3||.400||Lost ALDS|
|2006||97||65||.599||1st in AL East||1||3||.250||Lost ALDS|
|2007||94||68||.580||2nd in AL East - Wildcard Team||1||3||.250||Lost ALDS|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||2008||84||78||.519||1st in NL West||3||0||1.000||Won NLDS [2008 postseason currently on-going]|
|AL Total||1,173||767||.605||76||47||.618||Won 4 World Series|
|NL Total||978||1,081||.475||84-78 LA, 286-420 NYM, 257-229 Atl, 351-354 StL||3||4||.429|
|Totals||2,151||1,848||.538||(2,151-1,848 incl. 84-78 as of Sep. 28, 2008)||79||51||.608||Won 4 World Series|