St. Louis Cardinals team chairman William DeWitt Jr. and Cardinals senior vice president and general manager John Mozeliak this morning congratulated Tony La Russa on being selected for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Hall of Fame Expansion Era Committee.
“We are proud of Tony and honored that he will be joining an elite and distinguished group of Cardinals in the Baseball Hall of Fame,” said DeWitt. “This is truly a great day for Cardinals Nation.”
“Tony’s managerial tenure with the Cardinals will always stand out as one of the greatest eras in Cardinals history,” said DeWitt. “Tony’s passion for winning and innovative leadership not only helped the Cardinals achieve so much, his approach transformed how the game is managed and played today.”
“It was an honor and privilege to work with Tony for nearly 15 years,” Mozeliak said. “I am very happy for Tony on this well-deserved honor.”
La Russa, the winningest manager in St. Louis Cardinals franchise history, announced his retirement in October 2011 after a record 16 seasons as the team’s manager and after guiding the Cardinals to their 11th World Championship. LaRussa left the game ranked third all-time in managerial wins (2,728) behind only John McGraw (2,763) and Connie Mack (3,731).
La Russa, who was named the Cardinals 48th manager on Oct. 23, 1995, guided the Cardinals to a franchise record 1,408 wins. He led the Cardinals to eight division titles (1996, 2000-02, 2004-06 and 2009), three National League pennants (2004, 2006 and 2011) and two World Championships (2006 and 2011).
La Russa is second all-time in games managed with 5,097, including stints with the Chicago White Sox (1979-86) and Oakland A’s (1986-95). He ranks first on the Cardinals all-time games managed list with 2,491. La Russa’s Cardinals teams finished above .500 in 13 of his 16 seasons. They recorded 105 wins in 2004 and 100 wins in 2005, making La Russa just the second Cardinals manager to oversee two 100-win seasons. La Russa, in 2011, became only the second manager to win two World Championships with the Cardinals, joining Billy Southworth (1942 and 1944).
La Russa and Sparky Anderson are the only managers to have led both a National and American League team to World Series titles.
“We are excited for Tony, Bobby Cox and former Cardinal Joe Torre,” DeWitt said. “These gentlemen are among the greatest managers in the history of baseball. We look forward to celebrating their induction next summer. In addition to managing the Cardinals for nearly five seasons, Torre was a player who very much embodied the Cardinal way in how he went about the game and who had one of the most remarkable seasons in 1971 as the NL MVP.”
Cox, La Russa and Torre will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y. on July 27, 2014.
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