Joe Torre

Joe TorreDestined to be remembered as the sage leader of the New York Yankees of the end of the 20th century and into the early 2000s, Joe Torre was first a great ballplayer in his prime. He was an excellent hitter and a very, very good defensive third baseman who came to the major leagues as a catcher. He will go into the Hall of Fame as a manager, but he should get consideration as a player, as well.

How much did the Braves value the young Torre? In 1966, Atlanta manager Bobby Bragan was asked who he would choose if he was starting a team, Willie Mays or Sandy Koufax? He replied: “Neither. I’d pick Joe Torre,” Bragan said. “We know he can hit and catch the ball … he’s baseball’s best catcher … but he’s also a smart ballplayer … far beyond a fellow of his age.”