World Series star Frank Torre, Joe’s brother, dies at 82
Frank Torre, the World Series star who helped put little brother Joe on a path that led to the Hall of Fame, has died. He was 82.
The Major League Baseball commissioner’s office said Torre died Saturday at a hospice in Palm Beach, Florida. He had previously received heart and kidney transplants, and had been ill in recent years with cancer.
Torre played seven seasons in the majors with the Milwaukee Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. Though he hit only 13 home runs in 1,482 career at-bats in the regular season, he homered twice in 10 at-bats during the 1957 World Series as Milwaukee beat the New York Yankees for its only championship. In Game 7, he drove in a run at Yankee Stadium during the clinching 5-0 victory.
Frank Torre was nearly nine years older than Joe and guided his signing with the Braves and was long his mentor.
Joe Torre starred as a player, won four titles while managing the Yankees and was inducted into the Hall last summer. He’s now an executive with MLB.
Frank Torre was unable to make the trip to Cooperstown, New York, for the Hall ceremonies in July. Joe previously said that among all the great advice he got his older brother, there was one time he missed — when Frank offered his opinion on going to become manager of the Yankees.
“Frank said I was crazy to take this job,” Joe joked.
In his first season with the Yankees, Joe Torre guided them to the World Series title.
Frank Torre was in the hospital recovering from a heart transplant the day before — Dr. Mehmet Oz assisted on the operation — when he watched the Yankees clinch the crowd.
Earlier that year, the Torre’s older brother, Rocco, died of a heart attack. When Joe Torre was asked to help design the Yankees’ championship ring, he had the word “heart” inscribed as a tribute to his brothers and the team.
In 2007, Frank Torre had a kidney transplant, and the donor was his daughter.
Torre was with the Braves as they reached the World Series in 1957 and again the next year. In 1958, they lost in seven games to the Yankees.
Torre signed with the Boston Braves and played in their minor league system in 1951 before serving two years in the military. He hit .273 in 714 games in the majors.
The Braves sent him to the minors during the 1960 season. He barely missed playing with his brother when the team brought Joe to the big leagues later that year.
After finishing as a player, Torre worked for the Rawlings sports goods company. He later became an executive with the Baseball Assistance Team, which helps those who have been in the game and their families in need.
Commissioner Bud Selig grew up in Milwaukee rooting for the Braves.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of Frank Torre, a close friend for nearly 60 years and a man who marked the start of a great baseball family,” Selig said in a statement. “Before my career in baseball began, Frank and I formed a friendship that endured for decades, and I was touched to speak with him yesterday.
“Some of the fondest memories of my life involve Frank’s Milwaukee Braves teams from 1956-1960, and his great play in the 1957 Fall Classic was one of the keys to bringing the World Series championship to my hometown,” he said. “Frank’s longtime support of the Baseball Assistance Team … was an illustration of how much he cared about our game and the people who are a part of it.”
Selig called Joe Torre, who was visiting his brother in the hospital, on Friday. Frank took the phone to talk with his longtime friend and fan.
“Frank and I grew up together in Brooklyn and I always looked up to him as a baseball player and thereafter how he conducted himself as a person,” New York Mets chairman Fred Wilpon said.
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