Tony LaRussa retired yesterday, becoming the first manager to walk away from the game after winning a World Series championship. In his classic yet defiant style, he proved his immeasurable worth to the plethora of critics and fans who voiced their declining opinions about him this season.
Then he left with style and class.
LaRussa goes out, like it or not, guaranteed to be enshrined by the St. Louis Cardinals and the Baseball Hall of Fame. He's also a likely candidate to have his No. 10 jersey retired by the Redbirds. Further, retired Cardinals jerseys usually get statues outside of Busch Stadium.
Among his many accomplishments attained with the franchise, LaRussa leaves as one of only four managers to be named Manager of the Year in both the National and American leagues.
Moreover, this postseason he surpassed Bobby Cox to move into second place on the all-time playoffs wins list with 70. A former manager of the Redbirds, Joe Torre, is No. 1 with 84.
LaRussa, perhaps most importantly, won two World Series titles in St. Louis to go with his deuces wild, two Wild Card titles under the shadows of the Arch. But which one of LaRussa's many accomplishments ranks No. 1 on my list?