The Brooklyn, N.Y., native, played seven years in the major leagues, winning a World Series of his own with the Milwaukee Braves in 1957, hitting two home runs against the same Yankees his brother would later manage.
During that time in Milwaukee, he befriended current Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, then the Braves’ largest public stockholder. Selig joined those mourning Torre on Saturday.
“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,” Selig said.
After his baseball career ended, Torre became the president of licensing for Rawlings Adirondak sporting goods. Schmidt said Torre represented him for years. “He was my contact, looking out for me, making sure my bats were perfect,” said Schmidt, who used those bats to hit 548 home runs for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Torre also contributed to the Baseball Assistance Team, which assists former baseball players who are suffering from physical or financial ailments.
His brother Joe may have earned more acclaim as a nine-time All-Star player and four-time World Series-winning manager, but Frank Torre had plenty of brushes with fame. He rubbed elbows with baseball legends like Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner and was quick with a story of his playing days.
— On outsmarting Hall of Famer Willie Mays, as retold by his son Frank Jr.: "Willie Mays was running down the first base line. Dad came off the base, and a guy was running to third. He pump-faked to third, and Mays got off the base. He tagged him out. The next season they were in the same exact situation, and he tried the same thing. Willie stood on the base and said, 'You're not going to get me again with that.' "
— On meeting Pittsburgh Pirates baseball legend Honus Wagner: "He'd sit there and talk with you for a while. We could have gotten all the autographs we wanted. Man, if we were intelligent enough back then to think about what the memorabilia business would be like today."
— On witnessing the 12 perfect innings thrown by Pittsburgh's Harvey Haddix on May 26, 1959: "It was the most unbelievable display of pitching and control. … It was quite a lineup and he made it look easy. It was freakish."
Torre also spread his passion for baseball to to his family. His son pitched in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. His granddaughter Caroline played softball for Palm Beach Gardens High School and later the University of North Florida.
And as much as Torre loved the game, family came first.
“If I had my choice of seeing a Yankee game or Caroline play, I would pick Caroline,” Torre said in 2004, when his granddaughter was in high school.
When Torre needed a kidney transplant in May 2007, his daughter, Liz, donated one of hers, saying there was only one rule for would-be interviewers: “Make sure the Yankees win, so he’s in a good mood.”
Torre is survived by five children and 12 grandchildren. Funeral services will be private, his son said.