La Russa announces his retirement

Alamo resident steps down after three titles in 33 seasons, 16 with Cardinals

Tony La Russa, the third-winningest manager in Major League history announced his retirement as a manager on Monday, according to La Russa, an Alamo resident, made the announcement at Busch Stadium not three days after winning the World Series for the third time.

"There isn't one (factor) that dominates (my decision)," La Russa said. "They all just come together telling you your time is over.

"We went through the season and I felt that this just feels like it's time to end it and I think it's going to be great for the Cardinals to refresh what's going on here."

La Russa, 67, is one of nine managers to win the World Series three times and is the only one to win it all in three decades. He's also one of two managers, along with Billy Southworth, to win two World Series titles with the Cardinals.

"I'm looking forward to what's ahead," La Russa said, adding that he made his decision to retire in August. "I'm ready to do something different."

For the time being, he does not have a next job in line. He does not expect to return to the organization but indicated that he had some interest in continuing to work in baseball.

General Manager John Mozeliak acknowledged that he has a preliminary list of people in mind to be the club's next manager, but expects that list to evolve. Mozeliak did not rule out any possibility for the next Cardinals skipper, from internal candidates to managers not currently with a team to coaches or managers with other teams.

The Cardinals parted ways with the winningest manager in franchise history, a man who amassed 1,408 regular-season victories in 16 seasons. He made nine postseason appearances in St. Louis, won three pennants and wrapped up his second World Series championship with the Cardinals on Friday night.

"I know the impact he had on this organization and specifically on the 2011 team. It's hard for me to swallow but at the same time I have to admire that he never wavered," Mozeliak told reporters. "But when I think back to my time with him, he's been a leader, a mentor, a friend. And when you have somebody step away from your life that incorporates all that, it's never a great feeling."

La Russa, who also founded Walnut Creek's Animal Rescue Foundation in 1991, steps down with 2,728 managerial victories, ranking behind only Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763). Only Mack has managed in more ballgames. The Cardinals skipper is also the only manager in Major League Baseball history to win multiple pennants in both leagues and the second to win a World Series title in each, as well. La Russa said that he did not consider continuing in order to get the 36 wins he would have needed and pass McGraw on the all-time list.

La Russa's managerial career began with the Chicago White Sox in 1979 and after eight seasons, he moved to Oakland in 1986 and won the World Series with the A's in 1989, in the middle of three consecutive American League pennants. The Cardinals hired La Russa in 1996.

"We're grateful for what he's done for the Cardinals all these years," Cardinals Chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt Jr. said. "He's been a leader, a mentor and a friend and when you have somebody step away from your life that incorporates all that, it's never a great feeling."


Like this comment
Posted by LMP
a resident of Danville
on Nov 1, 2011 at 7:32 am

Tony LaRussa is a wonderful person for all he has done through Animal Rescue Foundation. I wish him well in retirement.

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