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  Tony and Elaine La Russa
   

In 2011, Tony La Russa led the St. Louis Cardinals to their 11th world championship, beating the Texas Rangers in the 2011 World Series. It was his second win with the Cardinals and the third such win in his managerial career. Upon his 2006 win with the Cardinals, La Russa became only the second manager in Major League Baseball history, along with Sparky Anderson, to win World Series championships in both National and American Leagues.

La Russa finished his 16th season at the Cardinals’ helm in third place on the all-time Major League Baseball managerial wins list with 2,728 wins. After managing 5,097 games, La Russa is ranked second in total number of games managed, as well as number of years managing, tied with John McGraw at 33 years.

Three days after the World Series win, La Russa announced his retirement on October 31, 2011. Nearly three months later, Major League Baseball announced he would manage the National League team at the 2012 All-Star game in Kansas City. He will be just the second retired manager to coach an all-star team.

La Russa tops the all-time St. Louis Cardinals managerial win list with 1,408 victories. He guided the Cardinals to postseason appearances in nine of his 16 seasons with St. Louis, including taking his 2006 and 2011 teams to the World Series. He was named National League “Manager of the Year” in 2002 and is the second manager in major league history to have 500 or more wins with three different teams.

La Russa was awarded the first of his five “Manager of the Year” awards while with the Chicago White Sox in 1983. After the White Sox, he was signed by the Oakland Athletics in 1986. He once again earned “Manager of the Year” honors in 1988 when the Oakland A’s were American League Champions. In 1989, he guided the A's to their fourth World Championship since the club moved to Oakland, sweeping the Giants in four straight games during the earthquake-interrupted Bay Bridge series. The A’s won three straight League Championships from 1988 to 1990.

 
   

In July 1991, La Russa became the 40th manager in Major League Baseball history to win 1,000 games. He earned his third Manager of the Year award in 1992 after steering the A's to their fourth American League West title in five years.

La Russa became the Manager of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1996. The Cardinals won the National League Central title in 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004 with sweeps of the Division Series in 1996, 2000 and 2002. Prior to taking the helm of the Cardinals he spent 17 years managing in the American League with the Oakland Athletics and the Chicago White Sox.

The former infielder signed his first pro contract with the Kansas City Athletics on the night he graduated from high school in 1962. He made his major league debut with Kansas City just one year later. La Russa didn't return to the majors again until 1968, this time with the A's of Oakland. He went on to play parts of four seasons in Oakland before concluding his big-league playing career with Atlanta and the Chicago Cubs. Overall, his professional career spanned 16 seasons.

Tony La Russa was born in Tampa, Florida on October 4, 1944 and graduated from Jefferson High School. He holds a degree in Industrial Management from the University of South Florida in Tampa. He received his Juris Doctor from Florida State University in 1978 and is currently a member of the Florida State Bar. He is one of only five lawyer/managers in baseball history. The other four are Monte Ward (New York Giants, Brooklyn and Providence, late 1800s), Hughie Jennings (Detroit, 1907-20, New York Giants, 1924), Miller Huggins (St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees, 1913-29) and Branch Rickey (St. Louis Browns, 1913-15, St. Louis Cardinals, 1919-25) - all of which are in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

 
   

La Russa's community efforts stress animal rescue, children, education, and community-minded organizations. Co-founder of the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in Walnut Creek, California, he remains committed to the cause and acts as chairman of the board. Additionally, he is involved in the Cardinals community foundation, Cardinals Care, in St. Louis. He teamed with author H.G. Bissinger ("Friday Night Lights") on a New York Times best seller "Three Nights in August." He has been a frequent guest on San Francisco Bay Area radio shows such as KGO and KNBR, and ARF has been featured on FOX-TV's Pet News, ESPN, ESPN2 and Animal Planet. ARF has also been featured in many San Francisco Bay Area newspapers and numerous publications nationwide, including Sports Illustrated and USA Today.

On November 1, 2007 Tony La Russa was awarded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' (ASPCA®), prestigious Henry Bergh Founder's Award at the organization's annual Humane Awards Luncheon in New York, New York. In 1866, Henry Bergh founded the ASPCA®, the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere granted the authority to enforce local animal protection laws. Today, the ASPCA has over 1,000,000 members and donors nationwide, and continues to create national programs to prevent cruelty to animals. The Henry Bergh Founder's Award is presented annually to an individual who has worked most of their lives to improve the health and welfare of animals.

At the commencement exercises for University of Missouri - St. Louis on December 15, 2007, Tony La Russa was honored with a Doctor of Human Letters Honoris Causa. This honorary doctorate was bestowed upon Tony by Chancellor Thomas F. George, University of Missouri in St. Louis.

Tony makes his home in Alamo, California with his wife, Elaine, their two daughters, and many beloved dogs and cats.

 

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