Congratulations to this year's class of Hall of Fame inductees at Cooperstown, NY: J.Torre, B.Cox, T.Larussa, G.Maddux, T.Glavine, & F.Thomas.
Joe Torre's managerial rookie card appeared in the 1978 Topps set depicting him as both a player and a manager with his complete MLB player stats on the back. During his HOF speech, Torre jokingly gave credit to Felix Millan for his ability to consistently get on base, which allowed Torre to hit into 4 straight double plays at some point during their playing careers as teammates. The other three senior members (Koosman, Harrelson, & Kranepool) depicted in Torre's first team as a manager were all veterans from the '69 World Series championship Mets club. Torre later apologized to the media for not mentioning enough gratitude towards George Steinbrenner. I thought that Torre's introduction made that clear--that he would not be at the podium that day if it weren't for the Yankees.
Bobby Cox's managerial rookie card also appeared in the 1978 Topps set as the skipper for the Atlanta Braves ballclub. His senior player, Phil Niekro, began his career with the Braves and had moved with the ballclub from Milwaukee to Atlanta in '66. Niekro earned a Gold Glove, and a spot on the All-Star team during Cox's managerial rookie year in '78, and would later enter the Hall of Fame in 1997.
Cox's other senior player, Cito Gaston, would eventually lead a team of his own to 2 consecutive World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.
Tony LaRussa's managerial rookie card appeared in the 1980 Topps set as the skipper of the Chicago White Sox.
The 1980 Topps set did not provide additional information about team managers on the card backs of this set.
Greg Maddux's rookie card first appeared in the 1987 Topps Traded set. Here, Maddux is shown as the youngest player on his team alongside other big name players like Palmeiro, Dunston, Moyer, and Martinez.
The Topps Traded card backs are lighter than the base set, but I integrated them into one set anyway. Wouldn't it would be a shame to be missing this card from your '87 Topps set. As one of my all-time favorite sets. I compiled a bunch of these Traded sets (probably too many). I wish I could say the same for the '00 Topps Traded sets before the M.Cabrera RC skyrocketed..
Tom Glavine's rookie card first appeared in the 1988 Topps set with the same team he would end his career with.
It is by chance that Glavine is shown here isolated from his teammates and surrounded by Orioles. The Orioles team had the next lower winning percentage than the Braves in 1988, so here he is next to Murray, Ripken, and F.Robinson, who had just taken over as Orioles skipper from Ripken Sr.