Tony La Russa Retires: Cardinals Manager Goes Out On Top

Manager Tony LaRussa of the St. Louis Cardinals acknowledges the celebrating crowd inside Busch Stadium on October 30, 2011 in St Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Szczepanski/Getty Images)

Tony La Russa surprised almost everyone by announcing his retirement Monday after 33 years as a major league manager; in 16 years with the Cardinals he won three World Series.

Some baseball men know how to go out.

Monday morning, in news that surprised nearly everyone who follows the sport, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa announced his retirement. The news came in this simple tweet from longtime St. Louis writer Rob Rains:

La Russa is retiring
Oct 31 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

 

This surprising news was announced in a press conference at Busch Stadium with La Russa, Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. and general manager John Mozeliak. Rains also tweeted this:

DeWitt says Tony first mentioned retiring in August.and that he and Mozeliak could not change his mind.

La Russa turned 67 earlier this month; he retires as the third-winningest manager of all time. Oddly enough, had he managed even one more season, he would have passed John McGraw for second place; La Russa trails McGraw on the all-time wins list by just 35 victories. He managed 5,097 regular season games, second only to Connie Mack, and the World Series championship he just won was his third. His 14 postseason appearances trails only Joe Torre (15) and Bobby Cox (16).

We'll likely next see Tony La Russa when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame; he's had one of the greatest managing careers of all time.

Rob Neyer: Is Tony La Russa the greatest postseason manager?

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