Just three days after the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series at Busch Stadium, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa announced that he is retiring and will not return next season.
The 67-year-old manager, only days after winning his third World Championship ring, announced Monday that he would retire after 33 seasons of managing in the major leagues, the last 16 with the Cardinals. He is leaving the game with 2,728 wins, third on the all-time list and only 35 shy of John McGraw at the No. 2 spot.
La Russa told ownership in August that he intended to retire at the end of the season. During Sunday’s championship rally, La Russa re-affirmed his plan to owner Dill DeWitt, Jr.
“It’s just time to do something else, and I knew it,” La Russa said at the news conference. La Russa said that a long, painful bout with Shingles earlier this year did not affect his decision. According to the New York Daily News, he choked up during the news conference when he talked about his wife, Elaine, and daughters, Devon and Bianca. During his 16 years in St. Louis, La Russa has spent the summers alone in St. Louis with his family in California.
Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said he had “15-20 meetings” with La Russa during the playoffs about his job situation. “It’s tough to swallow,” Mozeliak said. “I have to admire how he never wavered.”
Mozeliak said he already has formed a search committee to find La Russa’s replacement.
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