The history of baseball is riddled with the accomplishments that are the stuff of legends. The St. Louis Cardinals are no strangers to these legends. Superstars like Musial, Dean, Smith, Gibson, Brock and Schoendienst have defined the greatness of the “Birds on the Bat” for generations, and they have been recognized by the Cardinals organization for their feats by them retiring their numbers.
Today, we can add one more legend to that fraternity: Tony La Russa.
La Russa is the fifth manager of the Cardinals to have his number retired, and he is the winningest skipper of that group. His part in the two World Series titles won during his tenure with the Cards was nothing short of spectacular. In 2006, he led a team that only won 83 regular season games through a tough NL playoff (highlighted by the Game 7 victory at NYM in the NLCS) and an impressive five-game World Series victory over the Detroit Tigers.
As impressive as the 2006 run was, nothing in the history of baseball can top what the 2011 Cardinals ballclub accomplished. The Cards went from being 10.5 games out in late August to a triumphant World Series Game 7 victory—after being down to their last out, twice! The one constant through that entire crazy ride was La Russa’s managerial genius. It is almost certain that if one of the strings La Russa pulled down the stretch did not work out exactly right, Cardinal Nation would not have been celebrating it’s 11th championship last October. Luckily, one of the greatest managerial minds in baseball history was at the helm.
So, on this night, we honor the great Tony La Russa, and we celebrate the greatness that he embodied so well. As a fan of America’s pastime and a die-hard member of Cardinal Nation, I salute you on an outstanding career, and I wish you luck in your future endeavors.
Thank you, Tony.
Tweet Tony your congrats using #TLR10.