I always thought the Cardinals' standard for jersey retirement was to become a Hall of Famer first. I had always heard that's why they wouldn't retire Willie McGee's number. Granted, I know TLR will be a HOF'er one day, but surprised they're doing this as quickly as they are.
t's official: Tony La Russa is history.
The Cardinals announced Tuesday night they will honor the future Hall of Fame manager in a pregame ceremony May 11 that will feature retirement of his No. 10.
La Russa, now serving baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, has accepted the club's invitation to attend what will be an elaborate recognition of his 16-year-term with the franchise.
The 48th manager in franchise history, La Russa won more regular-season games (1,408) than any other Cardinals manager, and his 2,728 overall managerial wins ranks third all-time behind Connie Mack and John McGraw. Neither Mack nor McGraw managed after 1950. Mack owned his team, the Philadelphia Athletics.
La Russa, 67, announced his retirement as Cardinals manager a day after the team's World Series parade last October. The club's seven-game victory over the Texas Rangers came in the Cardinals' third trip to the World Series under La Russa, who took over as manager Oct. 23, 1995.
"Tony's managerial tenure with the Cardinals will always stand out as one of the greatest eras in Cardinal history," Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a prepared statement. "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 as we honor Tony for his historic achievements as a Cardinal."
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La Russa becomes the fourth Cardinals manager recognized and the third to technically have his number retired at least in part for his managerial success. Hall of Fame second baseman Rogers Hornsby also managed the team in an era before players and dugout staff wore numbers. Red Schoendienst, a Hall of Fame player, had his number retired in 1996. Whitey Herzog, inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010, had his number retired during a pregame ceremony the same year. Former third baseman Ken Boyer's No. 14 was retired, but he lasted barely two years as Cardinals manager.
La Russa's number is the 13th overall retired by the club. Ozzie Smith (1), Schoendienst, Stan Musial (6), Enos Slaughter (9), Boyer, Dizzy Dean (17), Lou Brock (20), Herzog (24), Jackie Robinson/Bruce Sutter (42), Bob Gibson (45) and former chairman August A. Busch (85) are the others.
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