While Joe Torre will forever be remembered as the manager for the New York Yankees dynasty of the late 1990's, he was actually an extremely talented baseball player. He will most almost certainly be inducted into the hall of fame as a manager but what about his playing career? He spent most of his career as a catcher, though he also spent a large chunk of his career at first base as well as third base. He played for a handful of teams including the Brewers, Braves, Mets, and most notably the Cardinals. Some more stats and the poll after the jump.
Torre's career spanned 18 seasons throughout the entire decade of the 60's and most of the 70's. He was a member of the NL all star team 9 times during his career. He was also a gold glove winner at catcher once. His best season came in 1971 when he won the NL MVP award, collecting 95% of the vote. During that year he led the league in batting average, hits, total bases, and rbi's.
Catcher has been a notoriously shallow position throughout the history of baseball. Currently, the hall of fame houses only 13 catchers (not including negro league players). And although Torre played a large part of his career at other postions, Torre does rank very highly among other catchers in history. Some categories Torre ranks hignly among catchers with at least 5,000 plate appearances;
BA- .297, 9th
OBP- .365, 14th
SLG- .452, 14th
OPS- .817, 11th
wOBA- .363, 14th
HR- 252, 11th
RBI- 1,185, 9th
WAR- 70.8, 6th
Quite impressive for a guy who never received more than 22.2% of the vote for the hall of fame. Besides his incredible 1971 season, Torre was able to also collect a handful of great seasons to go along with it. Torre had 8 seasons in which his WAR total was 4.0 or higher, including 4 over 6.0. His WAE4 for his career was 16.7 while his WAE6 was 4.3. Both are very respectable numbers.
While his numbers compare extremely well among catchers, he wasn't a catcher his entire career. He combined to play more first and third base than he did catcher (though he did play more catcher than either one. Could we be ranking him unfairly because of this? What do you think McCoven is Joe Torre a hall of famer baseball player?
Gary Sheffield- 42%. Not a hall of famer.