DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball announced Thursday that Hall of Fame Manager Joe Torre has been named the General Manager of Team USA for the 2017 World Baseball Classic (WBC). Currently Major League Baseball's Chief Baseball Officer, Torre made his debut in red, white and blue in 2013 as the manager for Team USA in the third installment of the WBC.
"I'm excited to be involved again," said Torre. "I had a taste of international play in 2013 and was disappointed that we didn't advance further. I'm going to do everything I can to build the right team and help Jim Leyland take us to the next level."
"We are thrilled to announce Joe Torre as the general manager of the U.S. for the upcoming World Baseball Classic," said Paul Seiler, USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO. "Joe's track record speaks for itself, and we're excited to have his leadership in place as we attempt to secure our first World Baseball Classic title."
Torre, a nine-time All-Star who played in the Major Leagues from 1960-1977, was a .297 career hitter with 252 home runs and 1,185 RBI. He was the 1971 National League Most Valuable Player as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, batting .363 with 230 hits, 24 home runs and 137 RBI. Torre served as a Major League manager for 29 seasons, leading the New York Mets (1977-1981), the Atlanta Braves (1982-1984), the Cardinals (1990-1995), the New York Yankees (1996-2007), and the Los Angeles Dodgers (2008-2010).
Torre was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Era Expansion Committee as a Manager in 2014. His 2,326 wins as a manager rank fifth all-time. The Brooklyn, New York native guided the Yankees to four World Series Championships (1996, 1998-2000), six American League pennants and 12 postseason appearances, including 10 A.L. East titles, in his 12 years as manager. Torre then led the Dodgers to two consecutive N.L. West crowns in 2008 and 2009, which included two straight appearances in the National League Championship Series, before stepping away from the dugout following the 2010 season.
In 2011, Torre became Major League Baseball's Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations, and his current title is Chief Baseball Officer, a role in which he is the primary liaison between the Commissioner's Office and the general managers and field managers of the 30 Major League Clubs.
The U.S. is looking for its first World Baseball Classic title after a semifinal appearance in 2009 and two second-round exits in 2006 and 2013. In addition to Torre in 2013, the club was previously led by Buck Martinez and Davey Johnson, and most recently featured a lineup of Major League Baseball All-Stars like Ryan Braun, R.A. Dickey, Jimmy Rollins, Giancarlo Stanton, and David Wright.
The final WBC qualifier will be held in September at MCU Park in Brooklyn, N.Y and will feature teams from Brazil, Great Britain, Israel and Pakistan. The winner of that tournament will join Australia, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mexico, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela at the 2017 event.
In April, former Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland was named the manager of the 2017 World Baseball Classic Team. Currently joining Leyland on the coaching staff are Jeff Jones, Marcel Lachemann, Lloyd McClendon, Willie Randolph, and Alan Trammell.
USA Baseball will look to finalize the coaching staff and U.S. roster over the next several months.