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December 12, 2013

HOF ballot offers hope for village shops

The unanimous election of Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Bobby Cox to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the hall’s Expansion Era Committee has generated excitement in a number of Cooperstown businesses.

“I think it’s going to be an amazing summer,” said Art Boden, general manager at New York Pizzeria.

Joe Torre is best known for his 12 seasons managing the New York Yankees, where he won four World Series titles. La Russa won a World Series managing the Oakland Athletics in 1989, as well as two with the St. Louis Cardinals. Bobby Cox managed the Atlanta Braves to a 1995 World Series win, as well as 14 straight division titles. All three managers have won over 2,000 games.

The announcement was made Monday. All three men were named on each of the 16 ballots of the Expansion Era Committee’s members, easily clearing the 75 percent threshold needed for election.

Torre, La Russa and Cox will be formerly inducted July 27 on induction weekend, a prospect that has been received as welcome news in Cooperstown’s business community.

“I think it’s going to be a huge business year for Cooperstown this year,” said Danny McCarty, manager at Paterno Brothers Sports.

McCarty thinks that the induction of Torre will bring in crowds from the tri-state area, but he is more excited by the fact that both Torre and Cox are being inducted at the same time, as they were rival managers in the 1990’s.

“Those two together would bring in a lot of business,” said McCarty.

McCarty is also excited that Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, both of whom played for the Braves under Cox, are on the Hall of Fame ballot this year, and he believes the three of them getting inducted in 2014 would draw lots of Braves fans to Cooperstown. He also believes the same thing would happen with Yankees fans if Mike Mussina, who played for the Yankees under Torre and is also on the ballot, were to be inducted.

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