TAMPA (CBSMiami.com) – World Series winning manager Tony LaRussa, a native of Tampa, called it a career Monday, just three days after leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a world championship.
LaRussa started his managerial career in 1979 with the Chicago White Sox. He would then move on to the Oakland Athletics where he put together the Bash Brothers of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.
With the A’s, LaRussa won three AL championships and one World Series championship in 1989.
LaRussa moved on from the A’s in 1996 and joined the St. Louis Cardinals. His Cardinals teams got better each year and won the NL pennant three times. The Cardinals won the World Series in 2004 and in 2011.
It was his 2011 team that may have been his best managerial job. The Cardinals were out of the playoffs near the end of August before closing a 10-game gap and moving on to the playoffs as a wild card team.
In the playoffs, his Cardinals team blew right past the Philadelphia Phillies before knocking out the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Championship.
When his Cardinals got to the World Series, they started out with a 16-7 bombing of the Texas Rangers. But the Rangers would come back and have the Cardinals down to their final strike of the season twice in Game 6 of the World Series.
The Cardinals overcame both potential season-enders and in Game 7 knocked off the Rangers, 6-2 to win the 2011 World Series. LaRussa’s teams in Oakland and St. Louis were always in the playoff hunt and finished with a career average of second place in their division.
Tony was honored with the AL Manager of the Year award four times in his career, in 1983, 1988, 1992, and 2002. He ranks third in Major League Baseball history with 2,728 victories.
He also holds degrees from two schools in the state of Florida.