Cardinals manager Tony La Russa achieves an exceptional milestone tonight — managing his 5,000th career game. He becomes only the second person in sports history, not just baseball history, to reach this total.
Connie Mack managed 7,755 games during his days as the owner/manager of the Philadelphia Athletics.
Just how many games is 5,000? He’s managed more games than the Diamondbacks, Rays, Rockies and Marlins have played in their teams’ existence.
He’s currently in third place on the all-time wins list for major league managers. Mack is first with 3,731, John McGraw is second with 2,763 and La Russa has 2,676. He’s also tied with McGraw in second place for most years managing, 33. Of course Mack is first on that list, with 53 years.
La Russa’s managing career began in 1979 for the White Sox, where he led them to a division title in 1983. He moved on to Oakland in 1986. The A’s won three straight American League pennants during his tenure, 1988 to 1990, and won the World Series in 1989.
He’s been the Cardinals manager since 1996 and in that time has won seven NL Central championships, two NL pennants and the World Series in 2006. Currently the Cards are in first place in the NL Central and have the best record in the majors, 38-26.
La Russa was named AL Manager of the Year in 1983, 1988 and 1992, and NL Manager of the Year in 2002.
For more on tonight’s milestone:
- La Russa on threshold of historic milestone
- Cards-Crew the stage for La Russa’s 5,000th
- La Russa is set to manage his 5,000th game
- Tony La Russa in 10 words or less
- La Russa to reach managing milestone