Joe Torre was one of the New York Yankees most successful and beloved managers. With a record of 1,173-767 (.605), 10 American League East titles, six AL pennants and four World Series championships under his belt, the recently elected Hall of Famer will be honored by the franchise on Saturday with a plaque in Monument Park along with the retirement of his No. 6 jersey. In honor of the man Derek Jeter always respectfully referred to as “Mr. Torre,” here are five of my favorite Joe Torre moments.
- No. Stay there! Mike Mussina was absolutely killing it in a game against Detroit at Comerica on May 31, 2006. The Yankees were up 6-1 and Mussina was still on the mound in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and no one on, the righty allowed a single to Magglio Ordonez. After the hit, Torre goes to the top of the dugout about to make a trip to the mound when Mussina yells at him. “No. Stay there!” Torre acquiesces raising his hands in apology. Mussina then strikes out Carlos Guillen for a complete game gem.
- Grace after a big loss. After losing the 2003 World Series, Torre made the long walk from the old Yankees clubhouse to the congratulate Marlins manager Jack McKeon. “I know how much this means to him because I know how much it meant to me,” he said of his old friend.
- Win 2,000. On June 7, 2007, Torre notched career win 2,000. It was a 10-3 win over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular. He became the first major leaguer to have 2,000 wins and 2,000 hits. Fittingly, closer Mariano Rivera got the final out and presented the ball to the skipper after the game. Torre was taken a bit off guard and gave Mo a pinch on the cheek by way of thank you.
- Soriano smooch. You’ve got to admire a man who is not afraid to show a little emotion from time to time. Torre gave then-rookie second baseman Alfonso Soriano a giant smooch on the cheek after Sori hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth during the 2001 American League Championship series. The win gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead over Seattle in the series, which the Bombers would eventually win.
- Tears of a winner. Torre is an emotional guy, but he kept all those feelings bottled up presenting an air of calm in the dugout even during the most stressful games. Those emotions, however, would come gushing up to the surface especially at the end of a World Series championship win. There is no more iconic moment during those Dynasty years than the image of Joe Torre lifted on his players’ shoulders shedding tears of joy.