Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Thursday, October 14, 2010

1976 Topps #585 - Joe Torre


  • Joe Torre had a good career as a player and had a distinguished career as a manager. Torre was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1960. Torre played in the  minors in 1960 and batted .344 at Class C Eau Claire. Joe came up to the Braves at the end of the 1960 season and went 1 for 2 in two games.
  • In 1961 Torre batted .342 in 27 games at AAA Louisville and then came up to the Braves to stay in mid-May. Joe batted .278 with 10 HR in 113 games in 1961 and finished second to Billy Williams in NL Rookie of the Year voting. Best Young Catcher! - December 1961 Baseball Digest.
  • Joe split time with Del Crandall behind the plate in 1962 and batted .282 in 220 at bats. Torre became the starting catcher in 1963 and batted .293 with 14 HR and 71 RBI in 142 games. Joe made the first of nine all-star teams in 1963 (more about his all star performance later).
  • Torre finished 5th in NL MVP voting in 1964. He batted .321 with 20 HR and 109 RBI. Joe also led the NL in times grounded into a double play with 26. Torre led the NL three times in this category.
  • In 1965 Joe batted .291 with 27 HR and 80 RBI. Torre batted .315 with a career-high 35 HR and 101 RBI in 1966. Joe wasn't known as a great defensive catcher, but he won a Gold Glove in 1965 and led the NL by throwing out 49% of would-be base stealers in 1966.
  • Torre batted .277 with 20 HR and 68 RBI in 1967. Joe's offense dropped off in 1968 (the same thing happened to a lot of other hitters) and batted .271 with 10 HR and 55 RBI in 115 games. Joe missed about a month of the 1968 season (mid-April to mid-May) with an injury.
  • During spring training in 1969 Joe was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Orlando Cepeda. The Cardinals had Tim McCarver at catcher so Torre was  moved to first base. Joe batted .289 with 18 HR and 101 RBI in 159 games in 1969.
  • Torre split time between catcher and third base in 1970. Joe batted .325 with 21 HR and 100 RBI in 1970.
  • Joe's career year was in 1971. Torre was the NL MVP as he led the league with a .363 batting average, 230 hits, and 137 RBI. Joe Torre Swings a Fast Bat - October 1971 Baseball Digest. Player of the Year - Baseball Digest December 1971.
  • Torre had three more good years with the Cardinals. Joe batted .289 with 11 HR and 81 RBI in 1972 and batted .287 with 13 HR and 69 RBI in 1973. Torre batted .282 with 11 HR and 70 RBI in 1974.
  • After the 1974 season Joe was traded to the New York Mets for Ray Sadecki and Tommy Moore. Torre played for the Mets for the next 2 1/2 seasons. In 1975 Joe batted .247 in 114 games. Torre had his last good offensive season in 1976, batting .306 in 114 games.
  • Torre was hired as a player-manager on May 31, 1977. He didn't do much at the plate (.176 in 26 games) and retired as a player a few weeks later.
  • Joe took over as the Mets' manager during one of the toughest times in the club's history. Torre managed the club through the 1981 season but had only a .405 winning percentage and never finished above 4th in the NL East. Torre was fired by the Mets after the 1981 season.
  • On October 23 Joe was hired to replace Bobby Cox as the manager of the Atlanta Braves. Torre managed the Braves to an NL West title in 1982 (the Braves lost to the Cardinals in the NLCS), finished second in 1983, and third in 1984. After the 1984 season Torre was let go as the Atlanta manager.
  • Torre was a broadcaster for the California Angels from 1985-1990.
  • Joe was hired as the manager of the Cardinals in August of 1990. The Cardinals had one 2nd place finish in the NL East in 1992 but never finished above third in the NL East or the NL Central any other time during Joe's tenure with the club. Torre was fired in June of 1995.
  • At this point Joe had a managerial record of 894-1000 (.472). After the 1995 season Torre was hired to manage the New York Yankees. The Yankees hadn't won a World Championship since 1978. The club proceeded to win four titles in five years and win the AL East every year but two from 1996-2007.
  • Torre left the Yankees after the 2007 season and managed the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2008-2010. The Dodgers won the NL West in 2008 and 2009 but finished fourth in 2010. Torre resigned as the Dodger manager after the 2010 season.
  • Joe Torre's All Star Game performances:
    • 1963: did not play in game
    • 1964: starting catcher, 0 for 2
    • 1965: starting catcher, 1 for 4 with a 2-run homer
    • 1966: starting catcher, 0 for 3
    • 1967: starting catcher, 0 for 2
    • 1970: pinch hitter, 0 for 1
    • 1971: starting 3B, 0 for 3
    • 1972: starting 3B, 1 for 3
    • 1973: 1B-3B, 0 for 3
  • Liked to face: Don Drysdale (.348 in 92 AB); Ken Holtzman (.508 in 65 AB); gary Nolan (.439 in 41 AB)
  • Hated to face: Barney Schultz (.000 in 12 AB); Al Downing (.034 in 29 AB); Jim Lonborg (.087 in 23 AB)
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