On the heels of the St. Louis Cardinals 2011 World Series Championship, manager Tony La Russa has announced his retirement from baseball. La Russa, 67, has been with the Cardinals since 1996. In that time, his winning percentage was .544, with three National League pennants and two World Series rings.
His overall managerial record between the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals includes a record of 2728-2365, with six pennants and three World Series titles. He is only the second manager in history to win a World Series title in both the National League and the American League.
At the press conference, La Russa talks about the good fortune he’s had in his managerial career:
The thing that I feel the strongest about is overwhelming good fortune. You heard me say over the years as far as the three organizations I’ve been with. I think of the categories of good fortune. One of them is that I was hired by the White Sox, the As and finally the Cardinals and have never spent a day as a major league manager not in an ideal situation. I don’t know anybody that I know that can make that statement …
That is good fortune … Secondly, I’ve learned over the years the good fortune of the mentors that I’ve had …
As thankful as I am of the mentors and the organization, [pauses to clear throat, getting choked up] I want to make this really clear … The most fortunate part of being able to do this job for 33 years, she stands over there [points to wife Elaine] She’s one third of the family that has offered me the chance to do this job as ridiculously committed as I’ve been over the years. Believe me, all three of them, Elaine, [daughters] Bianca and Devon, have waved goodbye when spring training started and never barred the door … Elaine is the one … she covered and covered, to where we have an unfortunate little joke on Father’s Day, I get a card and she gets a card.
To pursue this dream of MLB … would not have been possible. Here I am 33 years later, I’m still doing it, she’s still encouraging me to do and she’s upset that I’m not going to do it.
Wow. This is not the news we expected out of the St. Louis Cardinals this Monday morning, Oct. 31. For all the ups and downs and very distinctive managerial style, you will be missed Tony La Russa.