Today is a big day for the Atlanta Braves franchise as one of its most deserving members was unanimously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Manager Bobby Cox will be honored as the best of the best of baseball history when he enters the Hall next July in Cooperstown.
Cox not only helped build the Braves of the 90’s as a General Manager, he led them on the field to 14 consecutive division titles from 1991 to 2005. More than any player, Bobby was the face of the franchise, the one constant through all those different winning teams.
Bobby ranks fourth on the all-time wins list for a manager with 2,504, right between Tony La Russa (3rd with 2,728) and Joe Torre (5th with 2,326). It is fitting then that the three of them should all enter the Hall in the same year.
Cox is better than all of them in one category though, and that’s ejections. His 161 ejections (158 regular season, 3 postseason) are the most in baseball history by a wide margin, besting John McGraw’s previous mark of 118, which had stood since 1932.
All Braves fans had hoped that Bobby would be inducted into the Hall of Fame since he retired after the 2010 season, and now we know that he will take his rightful place alongside the greats of the game.
Bobby is a special person, and I’ll never forget the times I was able to interview him and be around him in the dugout and manager’s office. He helped shape my understanding and appreciation of baseball as much as anyone else in the game.
Good stuff from the baseball-card-centric Braves blog The Card Chop, with these three vintage cards of the fellas elected to the Hall today — all played for or managed the Braves at some point. Note that Bobby is pictured in a Richmond Braves hat, a team he played on in 1967:
Note: The announcement today was for the Veterans Committee voting. The regular voting for players will be announced on January 8th, 2014, when Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux are expected to be elected on the first ballot.