In less than a week, two former managers of the New York Yankees were in Albany pushing for legislation that would regulate sports betting now that the United States Supreme Court has stated that states have the right to allow legal betting on sports.
On Monday, it was Joe Torre, the Hall of Famer, who took his turn speaking to politicians. Torre attended an Italian-American event close to the state capitol where he was honored and where state lawmakers enjoyed the opportunity for a photo-op with the manager who helped lead the Yankees to four World Series titles.
New York’s legislature has started to consider imposing state regulations on sports betting, including who could offer the wagering.
Torre, now a top executive with Major League Baseball, spoke to reporters and said he traveled to Albany representing MLB to discuss legalized sports betting, which has become a top priority in the legislature since the ruling on May 14 by the Supreme Court.
The high court’s ruling brought to an end a federal law that prohibited all but four states from allowing bets to be made on sporting events.
The former manager, who besides the Yankees, managed the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, told reporters that he was not in Albany trying to lobby either side, but wanted to protect our game.
He is the second former manager of the Yankees to visit the state capital during the last week as an advocate for sports betting but at the same time voicing concern about the integrity of the game. Last Wednesday, Joe Girardi visited the Capitol to speak to lawmakers while representing MLB.
Torre, who is 77, was cautious in his approach and seemed a bit uncomfortable speaking about an issue that has been prohibited in the close to 60 years he has been affiliated with professional baseball.
Torre said that baseball fans trust the sport and he would hate for that to be jeopardized as it is too important. Torre played for three teams during his Major League Baseball playing career over a span of 18 years.
With many states expected to enter the world of legalized sports betting in 2018, the native of Brooklyn said his home state would find it almost impossible not to follow suit.