LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox spent decades trying to beat each other, no holds barred. On this day, however, they were a mutual admiration society.
And why not? They were going to the Hall of Fame together.
With a combined eight World Series titles and more than 7,500 wins, the managerial trio made it to Cooperstown in results announced Monday. Each was unanimously selected when the 16 voters on the expansion era committee met a day earlier.
"They're not the easiest guys to manage against, that's for sure. But it was fun. It was always a battle," Cox said Monday at the winter meetings. "And I consider them enemies on the field, but friends off the field."
All three exceeded the magic benchmark of 2,000 wins — only Connie Mack and John McGraw have won more.
Induction ceremonies will be held July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Candidates needed 12 votes for election. No one else on the 12-person ballot that included former players' union head Marvin Miller and late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner got more than six votes.
Cox's managerial career began in 1978 with Atlanta, but he was fired after four seasons — only one above .500. A four-year run in Toronto ended in 1985 with an AL East title, and Ted Turner lured him back to the Braves as their GM. Cox returned to the dugout in 1990, and following one losing season he went on one of the most successful regular-season runs by any skipper, leading the Braves to 14 straight division titles and a World Series championship in 1995.
He retired in 2010 fourth behind La Russa in career wins with a record of 2,504-2,001.
Cox was ejected a major-league record 159 times.
Two of his pitchers during the remarkable stretch during the '90s, 300-game winners Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, head the newcomers on this year's players' ballot.
Results of voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America is scheduled for Jan. 8.
This year's ballot, chosen by a BBWAA-appointed historical overview committee, covers baseball's expansion era. Players, managers, umpires and executives whose most significant impact was from 1973 and later were considered as part of a three-year cycle. The golden era will be voted on in 2014 and the pre-integration era will be judged in 2015.