Joe Torre and Tony La Russa combined to win seven World Series titles between 1989 and 2011. (AP)
Longtime managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre were unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee on Monday, capping overlapping careers that saw all three men lead teams to World Series championships and take multiple franchises to the postseason.
None of the others on the ballot -- players Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Tommy John, Dave Parker, Dan Quisenberry and Ted Simmons, manager Billy Martin, owner George Steinbrenner and MLB Players Association chief Marvin Miller -- received enough support to be elected this time around.
Cox managed the Toronto Blue Jays and Atlanta Braves for 29 years, starting with a mostly forgettable four-year run in Atlanta from 1978-81, moving on to Toronto from 1982-85 and then returning to the Braves from 1990-2010. Cox guided the Blue Jays to their first division title in 1985 and won 14 straight division crowns with the Braves from 1991-2005 (there was no postseason in 1994 because of the player's strike). Cox's Braves also won five pennants and the 1995 World Series title.
La Russa began his managerial career with the White Sox in 1979. He won one division title in eight years in Chicago, then moved on to Oakland, where he won four AL West crowns, three pennants and the 1989 World Series title. His greatest success came with the Cardinals, whom he took over in 1996. He won six division titles, three pennants and two World Series titles, including in 2011, his last season as a manager.
Torre, who followed Cox in Atlanta in 1982 and preceded La Russa in St. Louis, had his first managing job with the New York Mets in 1977. He stayed with the Mets until 1981, then moved to Atlanta in 1982. He won the NL West title that season but was fired two years later. He suffered a similar fate with the Cardinals in 1995 after not having gotten them to the postseason since his arrival in 1990.
He was hired by the Yankees for the 1996 season and immediately began the most successful stint as a manager in the last 50 years. Torre won the World Series his first year and four of his first five seasons, while also winning six pennants in eight years and making the postseason in all 12 of his seasons in the Bronx. He moved on to the Dodgers from 2008-10, winning the NL West in his first two seasons there but failing to get back to the World Series.
The results of the BBWAA ballot will be announced in early January. The induction ceremonies will take place Sunday, July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.