La Russa is considered one of the greatest managers, not only in St. Louis Cardinals history, but in all of baseball. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Cardinals franchise has decided to honor their winningest manager of all time, but the fact that it happened so quickly coming off his retirement just last October is somewhat surprising.
Throughout his tenure in St. Louis, La Russa was frequently criticized for some of his "unique" managerial decisions, but the results speak for themselves.
Over his 16-year tenure, La Russa led the Cardinals to two 100-win seasons, eight playoff appearances, seven division titles, three NL pennants and two World Series championships, with the most recent being the 2011 series of course.
La Russa also holds the franchise record for most wins as manager with 1,408, and is second on the MLB list in games managed with 5,097.
La Russa will join Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Ken Boyer, Dizzy Dean, Whitey Herzog, Bruce Sutter, Auggie Busch, Jack Buck and Jackie Robinson as those who have had their number retired by the organization.
More details about the night are expected to follow as the May 11 date approaches. Tickets are still available for the game, and the first 25,000 fans 16 and older in attendance will receive a Tony La Russa retirement figurine to commemorate the great manager.
"Tony's managerial tenure with the Cardinals will always stand out as one of the greatest eras in Cardinals history," Cardinals chairman and CEO Bill DeWitt, Jr. said.
"His passion for winning and his leadership skills were hallmarks of a style that Cardinals fans will always remember with fondness."