Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox was honored Tuesday at the U.S. Capitol. Georgia U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson was joined by West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller in presenting the longtime Braves manager with copies of the Congressional Record from April 20th.
Both Senators on that day gave statements to the Record in honor of Cox’s career, which in a few years will culminate in his induction into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Cox is the fourth-all time winningest manager in baseball. He retires at the end of this season as Braves manager, his 25th in Atlanta and 30th in the major leagues. Beginning in 1991, he led the team to 14-straight playoff appearances.
The Braves are in the nation’s capital for three games against the Washington Nationals starting tonight.
The text of the Congressional Record of April 20th honoring Cox is below:
Mr. ROCKEFELLER. Mr. President, as a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan, I am always delighted when my team comes to town. They visit Washington next month, and as always, the Braves' incredible manager, my dear friend Bobby Cox, will be at the helm. But this year, the joy is bittersweet. After 50 years in baseball, Bobby Cox will retire at the end of this season.
I am an enormous and longtime fan of Bobby Cox, for so many reasons. He is so good and easy with people, and he takes them for who they are. And in the case of baseball players, he takes them for what they have, and allows them to achieve incredible things with it: I have never heard a manager encouraging his hitters at the plate between every single pitch as Bobby does with such tremendous enthusiasm.
He is one of only a handful to spend at least 20 straight seasons managing the same team. And I always knew, without a doubt, that Bobby always had the team ready to play its best. His record makes that much abundantly clear--he guided Atlanta to 14 consecutive postseason appearances and of course, to a World Series title in 1995.
Unlike so many other heroes in baseball, Bobby is very approachable, so good at putting people at ease. I remember visiting with him, and in minutes we were discussing ``Dirt'' Lemke who he really admired and respected as a second baseman because he was so scrappy.
That is why Bobby is an icon. He brings out the best in his players and exemplifies what the sport of baseball is supposed to be about--hustle, grit, loyalty and determination. It is why he is one of the winningest managers in Major League history, and it is why the Braves are what they are today.
So I say to Bobby: I'll still be a Braves fan after you retire, but it just won't be the same without number six in the dugout.
It is no wonder players love to play for Bobby. It is no wonder his fans feel like they are part of the team. I am honored to call Bobby my friend and, I am grateful that he has led me to continue cherishing--and needing--baseball the way I do.
Bobby, congratulations on your well-deserved retirement. It is your kind of integrity and stature that brings the game great pride.
Mr. ISAKSON. Mr. President, today I wish to honor Bobby Cox, who is a great Georgian, a great American, and a great friend, in the Record of the Senate. After 25 remarkable years as the manager of the Atlanta Braves, Bobby will retire at the end of the 2010 season.
Bobby began his career by spending five years in the Dodgers' farm system before being selected by the Chicago Cubs in the November 1964 Minor League draft. He was acquired by the Braves in 1966 and spent 1967 playing for Triple-A Richmond. Bobby was traded to the New York Yankees where he played third base in 1968 and 1969. He retired as a player at the age of 30, and it was the coaching career that followed that would make him a baseball legend.
Bobby returned to manage the Braves from 1978 to 1981. Although he left Atlanta in 1982 to lead the Toronto Blue Jays, it seems he couldn't quite get our fair city out of his system. After leading the Blue Jays to the American League East crown with a 99-62 finish in 1985, Bobby was named Major League Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America, the Associated Press and the Sporting News. He returned to the Braves as general manager in October 1985 and oversaw a farm system that produced some of the greatest players in Braves history and laid the foundation for the success that was to come.
In 1990, Bobby decided to return to the dugout as manager of the Braves, and I'm sure glad he did. While the Braves finished in last place in 1990, Bobby turned it around with a first place finish in 1991. I still remember that epic World Series battle against the Minnesota Twins as if it were yesterday. While the Braves fell short in the World Series, 1991 was just the beginning of an epic run that included 14 straight division titles.
During his illustrious career on the bench, Bobby has been named Manager of the Year four times. He led the Braves to a World Series title in 1995, defeating the Cleveland Indians four games to two. On June 8, 2009, Bobby won his 2,000th victory with the Braves. He's only the fourth skipper in major-league history to claim 2,000 wins with one team. His fiery spirit has also allowed him to capture another title. Bobby holds the all-time record for most ejections.
It gives me a great deal of pleasure and it is a privilege to recognize Bobby Cox for his contributions to America's favorite pastime and America's team, the Atlanta Braves. Although he plans on advising the team in baseball operations after he steps down as manager, Bobby will be sorely missed on the bench and will remain in the hearts of Atlanta Braves fans forever.