Torre also had 2,342 hits in an 18-year playing career from 1960-77 as a catcher and third baseman with the Braves, Cardinals and Mets. He is only man in baseball history with 2,000 hits and 2,000 wins as a manager.

The last inductee to speak, Torre ended the ceremony quite eloquently.

"Baseball is a game of life," Torre said. "It's not perfect, but it feels like it is. That's the magic of it. We are responsible for giving it the respect it deserves. Our sport is part of the American soul, and it's ours to borrow -- just for a while.

"If all of us who love baseball and are doing our jobs, then those who get the game from us will be as proud to be a part of it as we were. And we are. This game is a gift, and I am humbled, very humbled, to accept its greatest honor."

NOTES: A total of 50 of the 60 living Hall of Famers returned for the ceremony ... The crowd was the third-largest to see an induction ceremony. ... In addition to Smoltz, other players whose will be eligible for election for the first time include Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez and Gary Sheffield.