And now, we’ve reached the number that was on the back of the man who gave us the quote for which this site was named. Joseph Paul Torre.
Torre arrived in New York after skipper Buck Showalter famously returned his contract offer to the Yankees, unsigned. George Steinbrenner didn’t see that as a negotiation tactic, he saw it as Showalter saying, ‘No,’ to the Yankees. Steinbrenner reached out to Torre who had been manager of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1990-1995 and Torre accepted the Yankees’ offer to manage the ball club.
After Torre was named manager, fans and media alike chided the Yankees’ decision. He was even called “Clueless Joe” on the back page of the NY tabloids.
Of course, as we all know, “Clueless Joe” had the last laugh.
Torre’s tenure as manager ended up being the second-longest in team history behind Joe McCarthy. In the 12 seasons with Torre at the helm, the Yankees went 1173–767, they made the playoffs every season and they won six pennants and four World Series titles.
Things may have ended in a negative light, with Torre rejecting the Yankees’ contract offer in 2007 and with Torre writing a book about his years with the Yankees but with the passage of time, Torre has made appearances at the Stadium and has been welcomed back with open arms.
One of his first appearances was in September 2010 when he and other Yankee luminaries of the past returned to Yankee Stadium to pay their respects to the Boss, George Steinbrenner who passed away in July 2010. It was the night the Yankees were unveiling a monument in the Boss’ honor and when Torre was shown on the big screen in center field, he received a loud ovation. He returned the next season for Old Timers’ Day and has been back every year since.