Anthony La Russa, Jr. (/ləˈruːsə/; born October 4, 1944) is the former manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox and a former American professional baseball player. He's currently vice president and special assistant to Dave Dombrowski, president of baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox. His MLB career has spanned from 1963 to the present. In 33 years as a manager, La Russa guided his teams to three World Series titles, six league championships and twelve division titles. His 2,728 wins is third most for a major league manager, trailing only the totals of Connie Mack and John McGraw. As a player, La Russa made his major league debut in 1963 and spent parts of five major league seasons with the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs. After a shoulder injury during the 1964–65 off-season, he played much of the remainder of his career in the minor leagues until retiring in 1977. Following his playing career, he earned a Juris Doctor degree from Florida State University.
La Russa was named manager of the White Sox in the middle of the 1979 season and guided the White Sox to an American League West division title four seasons later. Despite being fired in the middle of the 1986 season, the Athletics hired him less than three weeks later, and La Russa led the A's to three consecutive American League championships from 1988 to 1990 and the 1989 World Series title. He left Oakland following the 1995 season to manage the Cardinals, and led the team to three National League championships and the 2006 and 2011 World Series titles. La Russa retired after winning the 2011 title and 33 seasons as a major league manager. Three months later, he accepted a position assisting fellow former manager Joe Torre, the executive vice president for MLB operations. In 2014, he became the Chief Baseball Officer for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
On December 9, 2013, he was unanimously elected to the Hall of Fame by the 16-member Veterans Committee. The induction ceremony was held at Cooperstown, New York, on July 27, 2014. On August 16, 2014, he was inducted into the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum.
|Tony La Russa|
La Russa in 2017
|Infielder / Manager|
|Born: October 4, 1944|
|May 10, 1963, for the Kansas City Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 6, 1973, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Runs batted in||7|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Member of the National|
|Baseball Hall of Fame|
|Vote||100.0% (Expansion Era Committee)|
Born in Tampa, Florida, on October 4, 1944, to Anthony and Olivia (Cuervo) La Russa, Anthony Jr's paternal grandparents had emigrated from Sicily and his mother’s family from Spain. He was raised in Ybor City, where his parents had met while both were working in the local cigar factory.
La Russa made his major league debut on May 10, 1963, after having played 76 games with A's affiliates Binghamton Triplets and Daytona Beach Islanders in 1962. He spent the entire 1963 season in the majors, as was required by his signing as a "bonus baby." He had suffered an off-season shoulder injury while playing softball with friends, and this limited him to only 34 games in 1963, in which he hit .250. The injured shoulder bothered him through the remainder of his playing career.
Over the next six seasons, La Russa spent most of his time in the minor leagues. He made it back up to the A's, which had since moved to Oakland, in 1968 and 1969. He spent the entire 1970 season with the big guys, and then late in 1971 the A's traded him to the Atlanta Braves. His final big league playing stop was with the Chicago Cubs, where he appeared as a pinch runner in one game, on April 6, 1973, scoring the walk-off winning run. He also spent time in the organizations of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals.
In total, he played 132 major-league games, 40 in the starting lineup. He went 35-for-176, for a batting average of .199. His 23 walks pushed his on-base percentage to .292. He had 7 RBI and scored 15 runs. He made 63 appearances at second base, 18 at shortstop, and two at third base, fielding .960 in 249 total chances and participating in 34 double plays.
Having started coursework following his A's signing in 1962, La Russa graduated from the University of South Florida in 1969 with a degree in Industrial Management. He earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Florida State University College of Law in 1978. and was admitted to the Florida Bar on July 30, 1980. He is associated with a Sarasota law firm although he is not eligible to practice at this time. La Russa has been quoted as saying, "I decided I'd rather ride the buses in the minor leagues than practice law for a living." Shortly before graduating from FSU College of Law, La Russa spoke with one of his professors about his post-graduation plans, indicating to his professor that he had an opportunity to coach in the minor leagues and asking his professor what he should do. La Russa's professor responded, "Grow up, you're an adult now, you're going to be a lawyer."
He is one of a select number of major league managers in baseball history who have earned a law degree or passed a state bar exam; others include James Henry O'Rourke (Buffalo Bisons, 1881–84, Washington Senators, 1893), John Montgomery 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), Muddy Ruel (St. Louis Browns, 1947), Jack Hendricks (St. Louis Cardinals, 1918, Cincinnati, 1924–29), and Branch Rickey (St. Louis Browns, 1913–15, St. Louis Cardinals, 1919–25). La Russa is also commonly credited for the advent of the modern specialized bullpen.
La Russa credits Loren Babe and Paul Richards of the White Sox organization for helping him to become a manager. The White Sox gave La Russa his first managerial opportunity in 1978 by naming him skipper of their Double-A affiliate, the Knoxville Sox of the Southern League. La Russa spent a half-season at Knoxville before being promoted to the White Sox coaching staff when owner Bill Veeck changed managers from Bob Lemon to Larry Doby. Doby was fired at the end of the season; Don Kessinger, former star shortstop of the crosstown Cubs, was named the White Sox' player-manager for 1979, and La Russa was named manager of the Triple-A Iowa Oaks of the American Association, choosing to manage in the minors after the White Sox had offered him his same major league coaching role.
The White Sox fired Kessinger with a 46–60 record two-thirds of the way through the 1979 season and replaced him with La Russa. The White Sox played .500 baseball (27-27) for the rest of the 1979 campaign. LaRussa, at 34, was the youngest manager in the major leagues. He credits Paul Richards with first inspiring him to believe he could succeed as a major league manager. La Russa was named American League Manager of the Year in 1983, when his club won the AL West but fell to the Baltimore Orioles in the American League Championship Series.
The White Sox fired La Russa after the club got off to a 26–38 start in 1986. In 1986, General Manager Roland Hemond, who had hired La Russa as White Sox Manager, was replaced by the White Sox' broadcaster Ken Harrelson as General Manager. Harrelson then fired both La Russa and coach Dave Duncan during the season. Ironically, Harrelson and La Russa were teammates at Binghamton in 1962. In later years, White Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf expressed regret for allowing La Russa to be fired. He finished his White Sox career with a 522–510 regular season record and a 1–3 postseason record. Decades later, Hemond would say of La Russa: “Tony La Russa is one of the most brilliant managers that I ever encountered in my baseball career. He saw things other people didn’t see. There were some managers who thought he was out of line with what he was trying to do, but later on they had to respect him because it was working. There’s no question he changed the way the game is played.”
La Russa had a break of less than three weeks before his old club, the Athletics, called him to take over as manager. LaRussa and Duncan both joined the A's, inheriting a team that was 31-52 and in 7th place. They went 45-34 the rest of the season to finish in 3rd place in 1986.
La Russa led the A's to three consecutive World Series appearances from 1988 to 1990. His A's swept the earthquake-delayed Bay AreaSeries from the San Francisco Giants in 1989. In 1988 and 1990, La Russa's Athletics lost the World Series to the Tommy Lasorda managed Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds, whose manager Lou Piniella was his youth baseball manager. The 1988 A's lost 4 games to 1 to the Dodgers and the 1990 A's were swept 4 games to 0 by the Reds, despite the fact that the A's were heavily favored on both occasions. In both 1988 and 1990 the A's had swept the Boston Red Sox 4-0 in the ALCS, after winning 100 and 99 games respectfully. The 1988 World Series was made famous by the Kirk Gibson game winning home run off of A's closer Dennis Eckersley. La Russa earned two American League Manager of the Year awards with the A's, in 1988 and 1992, giving him three AL awards, the latter after again winning the Western Division.
After the 1995 season, in which the A's finished 67–77, the Haas family, with whom La Russa had a close personal relationship, sold the team after the death of patriarch Walter A. Haas, Jr.. La Russa then left to take over for the fired Joe Torre at the helm of the St. Louis Cardinals. He finished his Athletics career with a 798–673 regular season record and a 19–13 postseason record.
In his first campaign with the Cardinals in 1996, La Russa clinched the National League Central Division title (and also finished National League runner-up), a feat his clubs repeated in 2000, 2001, 2002 (his fourth Manager of the Year award), 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2009. The Cardinals also tied for the National League Central crown with the Houston Astros in 2001. He became the first manager to win the award four times. The 2004 edition was arguably one of the finest seasons in Cardinals' history as they won 105 games and won another 100 the next year. La Russa's fourth Manager of the Year award was arguably the most emotional; La Russa led the Cardinals to the National League Championship Series (where they would ultimately lose in five games to the San Francisco Giants) in a year in which the Cardinals were traumatized by the deaths of beloved Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck and 33-year-old pitcher Darryl Kile just four days later.
After a 2004 regular season in which the Cardinals led the NL in runs scored (855) while allowing the fewest (659), La Russa's Cardinals defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series, 3 games to 1. St. Louis then took on the Houston Astros in the National League Championship Series. In a tense series with opposing pitcher Roger Clemens at the top of his game, Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen hit a game-winning two-run home run off Clemens in Game 7 following Jim Edmonds' rally saving catch. This home run sent the Cardinals to their first World Series for the first time since 1987. However, they met a Boston Red Sox team that had surmounted a 3–0 deficit against the New York Yankees who swept them in four games.
2006 saw a return to the World Series, this time with a 4–1 victory over the Detroit Tigers, managed by Jim Leyland. The team's 83–78 regular season record is the worst ever by an eventual World Series champion, usurping the 1987 Minnesota Twins' 85–77 campaign. La Russa is the second manager to win a World Series in both the American League and the National League – a distinction shared with his mentor, Sparky Anderson.
When he came to St. Louis, La Russa wore number 10 to symbolize the team's drive to their 10th championship and pay tribute to Anderson, who wore number 10 while manager of the Cincinnati Reds. After winning the championship, he chose to continue wearing number 10 to pay tribute to Anderson.
It was as a player with the A's that La Russa first met catcher Dave Duncan, who would join his coaching staff in Chicago in 1983. The two worked together on every La Russa-managed team after, and he often credits Duncan as playing a key role in his success.
La Russa led the Cardinals to the 2011 World Series, after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS (3–2), and then the Milwaukee Brewers in the NLCS (4–2). The Cardinals defeated the Texas Rangers in Game 7 of the World Series to win the franchise's 11th World Championship, and the third of La Russa's managerial career. He passed Bobby Cox for 2nd place on the all-time post-season wins list with his 68th win in Game 3. Three days following the World Series win, La Russa announced his retirement, ranking second all-time in postseason wins with 70, third all-time with 2,728 regular season wins, second with 5,097 games managed, and second with 33 years (tied) managing with John McGraw. He finished his Cardinals career with a 1408–1182 regular season record and 50–42 postseason record.
La Russa also became the first manager in Major League Baseball history to retire in the same season after winning a World Series title. Even though he had retired, La Russa managed the National League All Stars in the 2012 MLB All-Star Game for the final time in his managerial career. The National League won 8–0.
|Team||From||To||Regular season record||Postseason record|
|W||L||Win %||W||L||Win %|
|Chicago White Sox||1979||1986||522||510||.506||1||3||.250|
|St. Louis Cardinals||1996||2011||1408||1182||.544||50||42||.543|
Shortly after his retirement from the playing field, La Russa took a position with MLB assisting former managerial rival Joe Torre in matters of on-field discipline. He held this position for more than two seasons.
After joining the Diamondbacks in 2014, La Russa was reunited with former assistants Duncan and McKay, and the general manager who hired him to manage the White Sox in 1979, Roland Hemond. On December 4, 2015, the Diamondbacks agreed to a six-year contract with free agent pitcher Zack Greinke worth a total of $206.5 million. At that time, it held the highest annual average value in MLB, exceeding $34.4 million per year, and was also the largest contract by total value in team history. La Russa was demoted to Chief Baseball Analyst/Advisor with the Diamondbacks following a disappointing 93-loss season in 2016, which also resulted in the firing of General Manager Dave Stewart and manager Chip Hale. Following the 2017 season, La Russa resigned.
In November 2017, the Boston Red Sox announced that La Russa had joined the team as vice president and special assistant to Dave Dombrowski, the president of baseball operations. In making the announcement, the Red Sox indicated that La Russa would assist with player development, serve as an advisor to the team's coaches at the major and minor league levels, and serve as a consultant for Alex Cora, the team's major league manager.
La Russa ranks third in major league history in victories as a manager (2,728), trailing only Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763). He managed 5,097 games, joining Mack as the second manager or coach in American sports history to reach 5,000 games. In 2004, he became the sixth manager in history to win pennants with both American and National League teams; in 2006 he became the first manager ever to win multiple pennants in both leagues and the second manager to win the World Series in both leagues. La Russa has also joined Mack as the second manager to win World Series titles in three decades and to win pennants in four. He is one of only four managers to be named Manager of the Year in both of baseball's major leagues.
La Russa is the winningest manager in St. Louis Cardinals history, with 1,408 wins and 1,182 losses (.544) and 1 tie as manager of the club since 1996. He was 522–510–3 (.506) with the Chicago White Sox 1979–1986, leading the club to its first postseason appearance in 24 years in 1983, and 798–673 (.542) with the Oakland Athletics 1986–1995, winning three consecutive AL pennants from 1988 to 1990; he also holds the record for victories by an Athletics manager since the franchise relocated to Oakland in 1968.
La Russa became the leader in wins by Cardinals' managers on August 31, 2007, when the Cardinals defeated the Cincinnati Reds 8–5, passing Red Schoendienst (1,041–955) to take the title. He managed his 2,500th win against the Royals at Kansas City on June 21, 2009, becoming only the third manager to attain that win level after Mack and McGraw.
|Tony La Russa's number 10 was retired by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012.|
After the retirement of Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox in 2010, La Russa was the longest tenured manager in Major League Baseball, and with the resignation of longtime NBA head coach Jerry Sloan from the Utah Jazz on February 10, 2011, La Russa had been the longest tenured bench boss among all the Big Four sports leagues, until his retirement following his 2011 World Series victory with the Cardinals.
La Russa became eligible as a candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013 through voting by the Expansion Era Committee for induction in 2014. On November 4, 2013, La Russa's inclusion on the Expansion Era ballot was announced with fellow former Cardinals Ted Simmons, Joe Torre and Dan Quisenberry. The Baseball Writers' Association of America's Historical Overview Committee listed the candidates on the ballot and voted the following December 8. La Russa was inducted into the 2014 Hall of Fame class as a manager.
In 2012, he became the second manager to manage the All-Star Game (2012) after retiring since John McGraw in 1933. With his All-Star Game 8–0 win in Kansas City, he became the first manager to win an All-Star Game in both leagues.
|American League champion||3||1988, 1989, 1990|
|National League champion||3||2004, 2006, 2011|
|World Series champion||3||1989, 2006, 2011|
La Russa and second wife, Elaine, are the founders of Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation, headquartered in Walnut Creek, California, which saves abandoned and injured animals as well as running programs to bring dogs and cats to abused children, hospital patients, seniors and shut-ins. La Russa is a vegetarian. The La Russas have two daughters, Bianca & Devon, and reside in Alamo, California.
La Russa has two older daughters, Andrea and Averie from his first marriage to Luzette Sarcone. La Russa and Sarcone divorced in 1973 and Sarcone received full custody of their daughters. La Russa married Elaine Coker shortly after his divorce to Sarcone became official.
La Russa is also personal friends with celebrities outside the sports world, such as pianist and songwriter Bruce Hornsby, Bruce Springsteen, jazz bassist Christian McBride, and heavy metal musician Robb Flynn from the band Machine Head. In 2007, at a concert in San Francisco on La Russa's birthday, Hornsby played a comedic song he named "Hooray For Tony". The original song, titled "Hooray For Tom", is La Russa's favorite Hornsby song. In the "Hooray For Tony" version, Hornsby mentions the "Bash Brothers" Mark McGwire and José Canseco (from La Russa's days as the manager of the Oakland A's), Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, ARF, and La Russa's World Series Championships.
La Russa has Italian and Spanish ancestry, and speaks fluent Spanish. His father's parents were migrants from the Italian island of Sicily and his mother's family originated from Spain. Having a father who could speak Spanish and Italian and a mother who could speak Spanish, La Russa claimed in a 2008 interview that "Spanish was my first language." He was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. La Russa was also inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame on April 11, 2008 in a pregame ceremony at AT&T Park.
La Russa and his family had an uncredited extra role in the film Angels in the Outfield. The La Russas also made an appearance in an episode of Housecat Housecall, a reality show on Animal Planet presented by Purina Cat Chow, during the show's third season, which began on June 5, 2010. In 1980, La Russa appeared as a contestant on the game show To Tell The Truth, and helped fool the celebrity panel.
In June 2010, La Russa was asked about a tea party protest taking place during his game against the Arizona Diamondbacks that criticized the Diamondbacks' position against the controversial new Arizona immigration statute. La Russa expressed support for the Tea Partiers' right to free speech to protest at the ballpark. He also stated, "I'm actually a supporter of what Arizona is doing... you know if people don't fix their problems they have to take care of it themselves."
La Russa and Pujols attended Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally on August 28, 2010 in Washington, D.C. while the Cardinals were in town for a series against the Washington Nationals. La Russa decided to attend after being told by Beck that the rally was not political in nature.
Throughout the 2011 season, La Russa struggled with shingles. He originally disclosed that it was conjunctivitis, however, on May 10, after a visit to the Mayo Clinic (Scottsdale, Arizona), he disclosed that he was dealing with a case of shingles, and had to take off a few days for treatment and rest. Because bench coach Joe Pettini was named 'acting manager' instead of 'interim manager', La Russa was credited for all wins and losses during his absence.
On March 22, 2007 La Russa was arrested in Jupiter, Florida for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. He was found asleep at the wheel of his running SUV with the car in park at a stop sign. He was booked at the Palm Beach County Jail and blew a .093 blood- alcohol content, above the legal limit of .08. Calling his arrest on the DUI charge an "embarrassment", La Russa apologized to "anyone who is close to me, members of the Cardinals organization, our fans." He was defended by the organization and players, such as Albert Pujols. On November 28, 2007 La Russa pleaded guilty to DUI, saying it was in the best interest of all concerned. "I accept full responsibility for my conduct, and assure everyone that I have learned a very valuable lesson and that this will never occur again", La Russa said in a statement released by his attorney.
On June 4, 2009, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that La Russa had sued the online social network platform Twitter the previous month for a fake page established under his name on the site. La Russa claimed that he had "suffered significant emotional distress (and) damage to reputation" because of the profile. The fake profile made several "distasteful references" to La Russa and his team, according to the suit. Twitter's terms of service forbids impersonation directly, stating that users "may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others." Reports that Twitter had settled ("the first celebrity lawsuit against the 32-million-user site", according to the Wall Street Journal) were rebuffed on the official Twitter blog. La Russa eventually filed a request to dismiss the suit, while Twitter, whether in regard to the suit or not, continued improving its privacy protections.
In 1980, La Russa appeared as the subject in a round of the Robin Ward-hosted version of To Tell The Truth. Panelist Nipsey Russell seemed perplexed that there was another Chicago baseball team besides the Cubs. One of the imposters before the panel, when queried as to who was his best player at the moment, swiftly responded Todd Cruz. This resulted in him receiving votes. But he did not completely stump the panel.
In 2012, La Russa released his New York Times bestselling memoir, One Last Strike, which recounts his legendary last season as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals and their remarkable journey to becoming the 2011 World Series Champions from ten and a half games back.
In 2005, La Russa was the focus of a book by sportswriter Buzz Bissinger. Bissinger's Three Nights in August delves into La Russa's role as manager during a 3-game series in 2003 between his Cardinals and manager Dusty Baker's Chicago Cubs, their longtime rivals. The book received much praise from both fans and critics, though some complained that Bissinger sets out to glorify La Russa's "old school" managerial style as a direct challenge to the statistical analysis theses of Michael Lewis's 2004 book Moneyball.
As David Leonhardt of The New York Times wrote of the "stats vs. hunches" debate in an August 29, 2005 piece, "what makes this fight truly comparable to those that periodically roil the world of art history or foreign policy is that the differences between the sides are not as great as the sniping between them suggests. La Russa spends much of his time jotting down information on index cards and studying statistics in his office."
George Will's book Men at Work likewise depicted La Russa and his long-time pitching coach Dave Duncan as making more use of statistical analysis than any other team in the major leagues (this book was published in 1990, more than a decade before the Moneyball revolution).
La Russa also provided the AI for a series of successful video games, Tony La Russa Baseball (1991–1997). The games won numerous awards and featured "new" statistics selected with La Russa (and provided by prominent sabermetrics authors John Thorn and Pete Palmer) as tools for players as they managed their teams.
The 1990 World Series was the 87th edition of Major League Baseball's championship series and the conclusion of the 1990 Major League Baseball season. The Series featured the defending champions and heavily favored American League (AL) champion Oakland Athletics against the National League (NL) champion Cincinnati Reds. The Reds defeated the Athletics in a four-game sweep. It was the fifth 4-game sweep by the National League and second by the Reds after they did it in 1976, as well as the second consecutive World Series to end in a sweep, after the A's themselves did it to the San Francisco Giants in 1989. It is remembered for Billy Hatcher's seven consecutive hits. The sweep extended the Reds' World Series winning streak to nine games, dating back to 1975. This also was the second World Series meeting between the two clubs (Oakland won four games to three in 1972). As of 2018, this remains both teams' most recent appearance in the World Series.
Athletics manager Tony La Russa and Reds manager Lou Piniella were old friends and teammates from their Tampa American Legion Post 248 team.1997 St. Louis Cardinals season
The St. Louis Cardinals 1997 season was the team's 116th season in St. Louis, Missouri and the 106th season in the National League. The Cardinals went 73-89 during the season and finished 4th in the National League Central division, eleven games behind the Houston Astros.2000 National League Championship Series
The 2000 National League Championship Series (NLCS), to determine the champion of Major League Baseball's National League, was played between the Central Division champion St. Louis Cardinals and the wild card New York Mets. The Mets and Cards used as a rally cry the 2000 hit song "Who Let the Dogs Out?" by the Baha Men.
This series pitted a pair of teams that were former division rivals. In the mid-1980s, the Mets and Cardinals fought it out for supremacy in the National League East over four seasons, with each team alternating division championships between 1985 and 1988 (the Cardinals in their pennant seasons of 1985 and 1987, the Mets in their championship season of 1986 and 1988; however, the Cardinals weren't serious contenders in both of those years).The Cardinals, led by manager Tony La Russa, had played through the 2000 season in relatively businesslike fashion. They had won the National League Central division, and swept the Mets' fiercest rival, Atlanta Braves, in three games in the NL Division Series, making the Mets' run to the World Series much easier. However, they were struck with several injuries to key players as the playoffs began, including slugger Mark McGwire, catcher Mike Matheny, and the sudden, unexplained wildness of rookie pitcher Rick Ankiel.
The Mets, on the other hand, engaged in battle with the Braves for much of the season, eventually falling one game short of a division title. They matched up with the San Francisco Giants in the Division Series. After dropping the first game, they would rebound to win the following three games in heart-stopping fashion, including a thirteenth inning walk off home run from Benny Agbayani to win Game 3 and an improbable one-hit shutout by Bobby Jones to win the clinching Game 4. As noted above, the Mets thanked the Cardinals for making their run to the World Series much easier.It was the first NLCS since 1990 not to feature the Braves.
The Mets would go on to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series in five games.2005 National League Championship Series
The 2005 National League Championship Series (NLCS), the second round of the 2005 National League playoffs, matched the Central Division champion and defending league champion St. Louis Cardinals against the wild card qualifier Houston Astros, a rematch of the 2004 NLCS. The Cardinals, by virtue of having the best record in the NL during the 2005 season, had the home-field advantage. The Astros won the series four games to two, and became the National League champions; they faced the American League champion Chicago White Sox in the 2005 World Series, where the Astros lost to the White Sox in a sweep in four games.
The Cardinals and Astros were victorious in the NL Division Series (NLDS), with the Cardinals defeating the West Division champion San Diego Padres three games to none, and the Astros defeating the East Division champion Atlanta Braves three games to one. St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who won AL pennants with the Oakland Athletics in 1988–89–90 and the NL flag in 2004, fell short in his bid to become the first manager in history to win multiple pennants in both major leagues, although he did so in 2006 and again in 2011. The NLCS also closed with the last game ever played at St. Louis' Busch Stadium (II), which the Cardinals departed after 40 seasons.American League Championship Series
The American League Championship Series (ALCS) is a best-of-seven series played in October in the Major League Baseball postseason that determines the winner of the American League (AL) pennant. The winner of the series advances to play the winner of the National League (NL) Championship Series (NLCS) in the World Series, Major League Baseball's championship series.Bob Melvin
Robert Paul Melvin (born October 28, 1961) is an American professional baseball former catcher and coach, and current manager. He is currently the manager of the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball, and has been named Manager of the Year three times, most recently in 2018.
During a 10-year playing career from 1985 through 1994, Melvin was a catcher for the Detroit Tigers, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox.
In his managing career Melvin has led the Seattle Mariners (2003–04), Arizona Diamondbacks (2005–09), and Oakland Athletics (2011–present). Melvin was named the National League Manager of the Year in 2007, and the American League Manager of the Year in both 2012 (becoming the 6th manager in history to win the award in both leagues) and in 2018 (becoming the 8th manager ever to win the award three or more times in a career). Through 2018, his 634 Oakland wins were third-most in team history (behind Connie Mack and Tony La Russa), and he had an aggregate career record of 1,127-1,107 (.504) in 15 seasons as a Major League manager.Closer (baseball)
In baseball, a closing pitcher, more frequently referred to as a closer (abbreviated CL), is a relief pitcher who specializes in getting the final outs in a close game when his team is leading. The role is often assigned to a team's best reliever. Before the 1990s, pitchers in similar roles were referred to as a fireman, short reliever, and stopper. A small number of closers have won the Cy Young Award. Mariano Rivera, Dennis Eckersley, Trevor Hoffman, Rollie Fingers, Goose Gossage, Bruce Sutter and Hoyt Wilhelm are closers who have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.History of the St. Louis Cardinals (1990–present)
The St. Louis Cardinals, a professional baseball franchise based in St. Louis, Missouri, compete in the National League (NL) of Major League Baseball (MLB). Brewing magnate Gussie Busch's 37-year-long ownership of the club ended with his death in 1989, and his brewery, Anheuser-Busch (AB) took over. In 1995, an investment group led by Drew Baur and William DeWitt, Jr., purchased the team and have owned the club since. Shortstop Ozzie Smith – nicknamed "The Wizard" – collected a staggering array of defensive records and awards while performing acrobatic spectacles such as somersaults and flips that mesmerized Cardinal and non-Cardinal fans alike. In 1998, Mark McGwire and the Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa collocated national attention with their chase of Roger Maris' single-season home run record of 61. In addition, McGwire also set numerous team home run records. For the 1990s, the Cardinals captured one division title and finished above .500 five times for a .488 winning percentageThe Baur-DeWitt era continued Busch's and the Cardinals' winning tradition the next decade. Walt Jocketty, with a reputation as a top player developer, became the GM in 1995, and he hired renowned manager Tony La Russa. DeWitt's ownership group oversaw a period of consistent playoff appearances through key acquisitions of players. He also implemented a philosophy of bolstering talent from the minor leagues as the farm system consistently lagged near the bottom in baseball, as noted by publications such as ESPN and Baseball America. From 2000 to 2013, the Cardinals made ten playoff appearances, won two World Series and four NL pennants. With 1,274 regular season wins against 993 losses for a .560 winning percentage, the Cardinals led the National League and were second in MLB only to the New York Yankees. The Cardinals acquired defensive experts and sluggers Jim Edmonds (center fielder) in 2000 and Scott Rolen (third baseman) in 2002. A thirteenth-round draft pick in Albert Pujols unexpectedly put together one of the most productive ten years in Major League history with a .331 batting average and 408 home runs. Free agent acquisition and pitcher Chris Carpenter led St. Louis' pitching staff into multiple playoff hunts.
However, revelations of the widespread use of banned substances across baseball came to light in the 2000s decade that retroactively exposed McGwire's home run record chase and former pitcher Rick Ankiel's comeback bid as a hitter. Despite the scandals, the Cardinals acquired Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman, Carlos Beltrán and Adam Wainwright to replace Edmonds, Pujols, Rolen and Carpenter. Eventually, McGwire issued a public apology and returned to the Cardinals as the hitting coach. La Russa retired from managing after 2011 with the most wins in franchise history (1,408) and World Series championships (two) and Mike Matheny replaced him. Concurrently, the fruition of a new player development model of which DeWitt pursued contributed greatly to two World Series appearances in 2011 and 2013, such as David Freese putting on rare comeback heroics and Allen Craig compiling a historically high batting average with runners in scoring position.
From 1990 to 2013, St. Louis made eleven total playoff appearances and had a combined record of 2,032 wins and 1,787 losses for a .531 winning percentage, fourth-best among all major league teams in that span.List of Major League Baseball All-Star Game managers
The following is a list of individuals who have managed the Major League Baseball All-Star Game over the years (except 1945), since its inauguration in 1933. Chosen managers and winning pennant managers manage teams including American and National Leagues.
No official MLB All-Star Game was held in 1945 (cancelled April 24, 1945) including the official MLB selection of that season's All-Stars (Associated Press All-Star Game; game was not played). MLB played two All-Star Games from 1959 through 1962.List of Oakland Athletics managers
The Oakland Athletics are a professional baseball team based in Oakland, California. Before moving to Oakland in 1968, the team played in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1901 through 1954 and in Kansas City, Missouri from 1955 through 1967. The Athletics are members of the American League (AL) West division in Major League Baseball (MLB). In baseball, the head coach of a team is called the manager, or more formally, the field manager. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field. The team has employed 30 different managers in its history. The current Athletics' manager is Bob Melvin.The franchise's first manager was Hall of Famer Connie Mack, who managed the team for its first fifty seasons. Mack led the Athletics to nine AL championships and five World Series championships—in 1910, 1911, 1913, 1929 and 1930. The team lost the World Series in 1905, 1914 and 1931, and no World Series was played when the Athletics won the AL championship in 1902. After Jimmy Dykes replaced Mack as the Athletics' manager in 1951, no manager served more than three consecutive seasons until Tony La Russa, who became the Athletics' manager in 1986. During this period, Dick Williams managed the Athletics to two consecutive World Series championships in 1972 and 1973, and Alvin Dark managed the team to a third consecutive World Series championship in 1974. La Russa managed the Athletics to three consecutive AL championships from 1988 through 1990, winning the World Series in 1989.Connie Mack holds the Athletics' records for most games managed, 7,466; most wins as a manager, 3,582; and most losses as a manager, 3,814. Williams has the highest winning percentage of any Athletics manager, .603. Four managers have served multiple terms as the Athletics' manager. Connie Mack's son Earle Mack served as interim manager twice, in 1937 and 1939, when his father was ill. Hank Bauer served as the Athletics' manager from 1961 to 1962, and then again in 1969. Dark served as the Athletics' manager from 1966 to 1967 and again from 1974 to 1975. Jack McKeon started the 1977 season as the Athletics' manager, was replaced by Bobby Winkles after 53 games, and then replaced Winkles part way through the 1978 season. Five Athletics' managers have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: Connie Mack, Lou Boudreau, Joe Gordon, Luke Appling and Williams. Mack and Williams were inducted into the Hall of Fame as managers. Boudreau, Gordon and Appling were inducted as players.List of St. Louis Cardinals in the Baseball Hall of Fame
The St. Louis Cardinals, a Major League baseball (MLB) franchise based in St. Louis, Missouri, have competed in the National League (NL) since 1892, and in the American Association (AA) from 1882 to 1891. They have won 11 World Series titles, one additional interleague championship and were co-champions (tied) in another prior to the modern World Series. Known as the Cardinals from 1900 to the present, the St. Louis franchise were also known as the Brown Stockings (1882), Browns (1883–98), and Perfectos (1899). A total of 37 players and other personnel associated with the Cardinals have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
The first former Cardinals players to be inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame were John McGraw and Cy Young in 1937, the second year of the Museum's annual balloting. Rogers Hornsby was the first to be inducted as Cardinal, which occurred in 1942. Of the 37 former Cardinals elected to the Hall of Fame, 17 have been inducted as Cardinals and nine with the Cardinals logo on their cap. The latest former Cardinals personnel to be inducted were Tony La Russa and Joe Torre, which occurred in 2014.
In addition, two separate awards – the Ford Frick Award and J. G. Taylor Spink Award – while not conferring the status of enshrining their recipients as members of the Hall of Fame, honor the works of a total of six sportswriters and broadcasters in connection with their coverage of the Cardinals. The Cardinals also have a franchise hall of fame known as the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum located within Ballpark Village adjacent to Busch Stadium, the Cardinals' home stadium.Major League Baseball Manager of the Year Award
In Major League Baseball, the Manager of the Year Award is an honor given annually since 1983 to the best managers in the American League (AL) and the National League (NL). The winner is voted on by 30 members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). Each places a vote for first, second, and third place among the managers of each league. The manager with the highest score in each league wins the award.Several managers have won the award in a season when they led their team to 100 or more wins. Lou Piniella won 116 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2001, the most by a winning manager, and Joe Torre won 114 with the New York Yankees in 1998. Sparky Anderson and Tony La Russa finished with identical 104–58 records in 1984 and 1988, respectively. Three National League managers, including Dusty Baker, Whitey Herzog, and Larry Dierker, have exceeded the century mark as well. Baker's San Francisco Giants won 103 games in 1993; Dierker's 1998 Houston Astros won 102 and Herzog led the Cardinals to 101 wins in the award's third season.In 1991, Bobby Cox became the first manager to win the award in both leagues, winning with the Atlanta Braves and having previously won with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1985. La Russa, Piniella, Jim Leyland, Bob Melvin, Davey Johnson, and Joe Maddon have since won the award in both leagues. Cox and La Russa have won the most awards, with four. Baker, Leyland, Piniella, Showalter and Maddon have won three times. In 2005, Cox became the first manager to win the award in consecutive years. Bob Melvin and Brian Snitker are the most recent winners.
Because of the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike cut the season short and cancelled the post-season, the BBWAA writers effectively created a de facto mythical national championship (similar to college football) by naming managers of the unofficial league champions (lead the leagues in winning percentage) (Buck Showalter and Felipe Alou) as Managers of the Year. Two franchises, the New York Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers, have not had a manager win the award.
Only six managers have won the award while leading a team that finished outside the top two spots in its division. Ted Williams was the first, after leading the "expansion" Washington Senators to a third-place finish (and, at 86-76, their only winning season) in the American League East, in 1969. Buck Rodgers won the award in 1987 with the third-place Expos. Tony Peña and Showalter won the award with third-place teams in back-to-back years: Peña with the Royals in 2003, and Showalter with the Rangers in 2004. Joe Girardi is the only manager to win the award with a fourth-place team (2006 Florida Marlins); he is also the only manager to win the award after fielding a team with a losing record.Mike Squires
Michael Lynn Squires (born March 5, 1952) is a former Major League Baseball player who played for the Chicago White Sox primarily as a first baseman from 1975 and 1977 to 1985. Squires was best known as a defensive player, often coming on in late inning situations when the White Sox had a slim lead. He did not have the typical power associated with a corner infielder, never hitting more than two home runs in a season. Nonetheless, he was a valuable member of the White Sox of the early Tony La Russa era, particularly in their 1983 AL West championship run.
On May 4, 1980, Squires became the first left-handed-throwing catcher in Major League Baseball since Dale Long in 1958 when he was shifted from first base in the ninth inning of an 11–1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers at Comiskey Park. He would go behind home plate one more time three days later on the same homestand, coming off the bench in the ninth inning of a 12–5 defeat to the Kansas City Royals. He replaced Bruce Kimm in both instances.
He became the first left-handed-throwing third baseman in at least 50 years on August 23, 1983 when he entered the game for Vance Law in the bottom of the eighth inning in a 10–2 loss to the Royals in Kansas City. He would play thirteen more games at third base the following season, including four starts at the position.In a 10 year, 779 game major league career, Squires compiled a .260 batting average (411-for-1580) with 6 home runs, 211 runs and 141 RBI. Defensively, he recorded a .995 fielding percentage.
Squires currently works as a scout for the Cincinnati Reds.National League Championship Series
The National League Championship Series (NLCS) is a best-of-seven series played in October in the Major League Baseball postseason that determines the winner of the National League (NL) pennant. The winner of the series advances to play the winner of the American League Championship Series (ALCS) in the World Series, Major League Baseball's championship series.National League Division Series
In Major League Baseball, the National League Division Series (NLDS) determines which two teams from the National League will advance to the National League Championship Series. The Division Series consists of two best-of-five series, featuring the three division winners and the winner of the wild-card play-off.Old Time Baseball
Old Time Baseball is a baseball computer personal computer game (1995) designed and programmed by Don Daglow, Hudson Piehl, Clay Dreslough and James Grove. The game appeared on the PC and was developed and published by Stormfront Studios.
The game was based on the Tony La Russa Baseball engine, and was an extension of the baseball simulation methods Daglow evolved through the Baseball mainframe computer game (1971) (the first computer baseball game ever written), Intellivision World Series Baseball (1983) and Earl Weaver Baseball (1987).
Old Time Baseball took the Tony La Russa Baseball engine (then the top baseball game in the market), removed the current 28 teams' players and ballparks, and substituted the complete lineups of every major league team from 1871 to 1981, 12,000 players in all. 16 old (often demolished) ballparks were also included in which games could be played with accurate dimensions.Richard Dotson
Richard Elliott Dotson (born January 10, 1959) is a former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball in the 1980s. He is best noted for his 22-7 performance of 1983, helping the Chicago White Sox win the American League West Division championship that season. Dotson finished fourth in the American League Cy Young Award voting, behind teammate LaMarr Hoyt. Arm injuries came to limit, however, what was a promising baseball career.In a 12-season career, Rich Dotson recorded a record of 111-113 with a 4.23 ERA in 305 games, 295 of them starts. He pitched 55 complete games and 11 shutouts in his career. Dotson gave up 872 earned runs and struck out 973 in 1857 and 1/3 innings pitched.
Dotson was born in Cincinnati and attended Anderson High School.
He was drafted out of high school by the California Angels in the summer of 1977, but traded that December in a blockbuster six-player deal, going to the Chicago White Sox along with Bobby Bonds and Thad Bosley in exchange for Brian Downing, Dave Frost and Chris Knapp.
His debut in the majors was not an auspicious one. White Sox manager Tony La Russa handed him the ball on September 4, 1979 as the starter for a game at Anaheim, but the 20-year-old Dotson retired only four Angels and left the park that day with a gaudy earned-run average of 33.75.
By the next season, Dotson was a 12-game winner in the Chicago rotation. In 1981, he led the American League in shutouts with four. But his breakout season definitely was 1983. Dotson's 22 wins were the second-most in the league, and included 14 complete games. On the final day of the regular season, he and Dennis Lamp combined for a shutout at Seattle that put the White Sox in first place by a whopping 20 games over the nearest contender.
He and the Sox did not make it to the World Series, dropping the 1983 American League Championship Series to the Baltimore Orioles three games to one. Dotson became an All-Star the following summer, working two scoreless innings in the 1984 All-Star Game at Candlestick Park.
Although his career never again reached those heights, Dotson did go 12-9 in the New York Yankees' rotation in 1988. The team was in first place for much of the season's first half, including in late July, before fading. Dotson had a strong finish, combining with two relievers on September 29 for a seven-hitter at Baltimore in his final start of the season.
Dotson served as the pitching coach for the Charlotte Knights for nine seasons before becoming the pitching coordinator for their Major League affiliate, the Chicago White Sox.Stormfront Studios
Stormfront Studios, Inc. was an American video game developer based in San Rafael, California. In 2007, the company had over 50 developers working on two teams, and owned all its proprietary engines, tools, and technology. As of the end of 2007, over fourteen million copies of Stormfront-developed games had been sold. Stormfront closed on March 31, 2008, due to the closure of their publisher at the time, Sierra Entertainment.The company received major awards and award nominations from The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, G4 Television, BAFTA, The IGDA Game Developers Choice Awards, The EMMA Awards, SCEA, the Software Publishers Association and many magazines and websites.
In 2008, Neverwinter Nights was honored (along with EverQuest and World of Warcraft) at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for advancing the art form of MMORPG games. Don Daglow accepted the award for project partners Stormfront Studios, AOL and Wizards of the Coast.Tony La Russa Baseball
Tony La Russa Baseball is a baseball computer and video game console sports game series (1991-1997), designed by Don Daglow, Michael Breen, Mark Buchignani, David Bunnett and Hudson Piehl and developed by Stormfront Studios. The game appeared on Commodore 64, PC, and Sega Genesis, and different versions were published by Electronic Arts, SSI and Stormfront Studios. The artificial intelligence for the computer manager was provided by Tony La Russa, then manager of the Oakland Athletics and later the St. Louis Cardinals. The game was one of the best-selling baseball franchises of the 1990s.
The game was based on the baseball simulation methods Daglow evolved through the Baseball mainframe computer game (1971) (the first computer baseball game ever written), Intellivision World Series Baseball (1983) and Earl Weaver Baseball (1987).
TLB refined many of the simulation elements of Earl Weaver Baseball, and introduced a few "firsts" of its own:
User Interface and the Fly Ball Cursor -- Prior to Intellivision World Series Baseball in 1983 all hits in baseball games were grounders, since there was no way to display the ball in flight in 3D. After World Series Baseball, from 1983-1990 games had fly balls but used a ball-shaped shadow to trace the ball's path on the ground. This made catching fly balls difficult, since users couldn't tell how high the ball was if it was off the screen. In La Russa Daglow designed a circular Fly Ball Cursor that appeared where the ball was going to land, and grew or diminished in size based on the height of the ball. If the wind was blowing the cursor would move its location to reflect the changing course of the ball. The Fly Ball Cursor introduced real fly balls and pop-ups to computer baseball games, eliminating the last segment of the sport that had never been simulated accurately. Every graphic baseball game published since 1991 has used some variation on Daglow's Fly Ball Cursor for outfield play.
Fantasy Draft -- La Russa was the first computer baseball game to allow users to conduct drafts and set up their own leagues, all with access to the game's comprehensive player statistics. Tony La Russa would draft on behalf of all non-human users in a league, and users could tune the AI draft strategy uniquely for each team. The draft features were enhanced in later versions.
Head-to-Head Stats and Simulation Accuracy -- La Russa was the first baseball game to offer accurate stats for each individual pitcher against each individual hitter, data that actual managers use extensively in the dugout. Player stats and ratings were supplied by baseball sabermetrics pioneers John Thorn and Pete Palmer.
Baseball stadiums -- Ballparks in the game were larger and more richly detailed than any prior game. Add-on disks allowed users to play in real Major League ballparks.
AI -- In contrast to many sports celebrities who merely lent their names to games, Tony La Russa spent extensive sessions over a period of years working to make the game's artificial intelligence as accurate as possible. The team leveraged the lessons learned working with Earl Weaver to make the "baseball manager as game designer" feedback loop even more efficient.The first version of La Russa, Tony La Russa's Ultimate Baseball, was released almost exactly twenty years after the first playable version of Baseball went live at Pomona College in 1971.