La Russa retires after World Series victory

Peter Drulias, Staff Writer

In every sport, you have that one guy in your organization or team who is a legend and is someone who can never be replaced. The St. Louis Cardinals have that guy in Tony La Russa, their manager. La Russa, a local Tampa native and high school star, was not only a great coach but a mentor and friend. He is a player’s best friend and is honestly the reason why other coaches teach like he does. After 33 years of coaching for three different teams, the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, and St. Louis Cardinals and playing for an additional 10 years, he is calling it quits and walking away from the game of baseball at the age of 67. Tony La Russa, after 33 years of coaching has won a total of 2,728 games and was able to win six league championships and three World Series titles in a total of six trips. La Russa was also the first manager to use his bullpen for match ups such as using a closer, or even using relief pitchers for left handed and right handed match ups. He also was able to win the A.L. coach of the year twice and N.L coach of the year once, not to mention he is one of the few that was able to win a World Series in both leagues. Where do these numbers rank? This puts him third in the all time winning leader and he is by far among the top five managers to ever manage the game. Now, if you ask me, that sounds like a Hall of Fame career.

     In his last year of managing, the 2011 season, he was able to pull his team together and rally to get the wild card to overcome one of the biggest deficits ever in a pennant race.  Not only was he able to get into the playoffs , he beat the top dog Milwaukee Brewers and led his team to an improbable game seven World Series win against the Texas Rangers, clinching him yet another World Series title. After the celebrations were done in St. Louis, at a press conference he announced he was retiring. This soon spread across the nation and became reality, even senior Eric Handhold thought it was sad and disappointing that a legend has to step away from the game. As for now, we wait to see who will try to step into his shoes but at the moment we will just think about what a great manager he came to be.