05/02/12 2:05 AM ET
Cardinals to retire La Russa's number
Former skipper will be honored before May 11 game vs. Braves
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
La Russa's No. 10 will be the 12th number retired by the Cardinals, and he'll join Whitey Herzog (No. 24) as the only Cardinals managers who did not play for the team to be so honored.
"He deserves it," outfielder Matt Holliday said. "It's a great honor for him."
La Russa managed in St. Louis for 16 years, leaving after the Cardinals captured their 11th World Series championship in October. He ranks third on baseball's all-time list in managerial wins, with 2,728. Only John McGraw (2,763) and Connie Mack (3,731) have more. Of those wins, 1,408 came with the Cardinals. La Russa's .544 winning percentage in St. Louis is the best of any of his managerial tenures.
La Russa led the Cardinals to two World Series titles, three National League pennants and eight division titles. He is one of two Cardinals managers to notch 100-win seasons twice, and one of only two to win a pair of World Series championships.
"If you look at Cardinals history, you have great eras throughout," starter Adam Wainwright said. "Tony was at the helm of one of those great eras. Tony's success here speaks for itself. He's just a giant in the game of baseball, a sure-fire Hall of Famer. He brought a lot to this organization and this club and taught us a lot as players. It's well deserved."
"Tony's managerial tenure with the Cardinals will always stand out as one of the greatest eras in Cardinals history," added CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. "His passion for winning and his leadership skills were hallmarks of a style that Cardinals fans will always remember with fondness. We look forward to May 11, [when] we will honor Tony for his historic achievements as a Cardinal."
The Cardinals are expected to release more details about the ceremony closer to the date. Tickets are still available, and the first 25,000 fans 16 and older in attendance will receive a La Russa retirement figurine.
La Russa, who was in St. Louis for the home opener festivities, is serving in an advisory role with Major League Baseball. He will briefly come out of retirement this summer to manage the NL All-Star team in Kansas City.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.