Martin guided the Yankees to a World Series title in 1977. Martin, one of the nominees on the Expansion Era Committee ballot, died in a car accident near Binghamton in 1989.
“I think Billy deserves (to be in the Hall),” Cox said. “He was a character, no doubt about that ... great manager. He spent his whole life in baseball. There’s no reason in the world that he shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame.”
Cox broke through as a big-league manager with the Braves in 1978. He stayed in Atlanta until 1981 — Torre succeeded Cox as the Braves manager — and then skippered the Blue Jays from 1982-85. Following a stint as Atlanta’s GM, Cox returned to the bench in 1990.
The next season, Atlanta made it to the World Series, falling in seven games to the Minnesota Twins. The Braves also lost in the World Series in 1992, losing a six-game series to Toronto.
Cox’s World Series title came in 1995, a seven-game victory over the Cleveland Indians. Atlanta made it back to the World Series in 1996 and 1999, losing both times to Yankees teams managed by Torre.
“He was always the same guy and when we came to the park, yesterday didn’t happen,” Maddux said of Cox. “The attitude and tone he set during spring training got us ready for not only the season but for the postseason and that’s kind of what set him apart from all other managers.”
As for those 158 ejections, Cox was asked if the expanded replay system that will be implemented this season would have lowered the number of times he was tossed.
“It would have eliminated a lot of them, that’s for sure, but I still would have had a bunch,” said Cox, still a consultant for the Braves. “I guess I complained a little too much and got a little too excited when guys like Glavine and Mr. Maddux were pitching out there.”