2014 MLB Hall of Fame Inductees: Tony La Russa, Joe Torre, Bobby Cox

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Jul 19, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Former Oakland Athletics manager Tony La Russa (10), and players

Dave Stewart

(34) and

Rickey Henderson

(24) during the 1989 Oakland Athletics World Series team tribute before the game against the Baltimore Orioles at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Tony La Russa’s managerial career is to put it blunty, epic. He ranks third in baseball history in number of wins collected as a manager with 2,728, following only legends John McGraw (2,763) and Connnie Mack (3,731). La Russa has managed three teams over his 33-year managerial career. He won six pennants (three in the American League, three in the National League) and three World Series titles. He is one of only two managers in the history of baseball, the other being his mentor Sparky Anderson, to win a World Series in both the American and National Leagues.

La Russa’s Major League managerial career began with the Chicago White Sox in 1979 when he was hired to replace Don Kessinger mid-season. After taking over he held the club at a .500 clip for the remainder of the season. Just four years later in 1983, La Russa led the White Sox to an A.L. Western Division Championship and was named Manager of the Year. He was fired by White Sox General Manager Hawk Harrelson in 1986 after the club got off to a 26-38 start. Just three weeks after being fired from his first managing job, he was hired by the Oakland Athletics.

Within two years of being hired by the Athletics, La Russa led them to the first of three straight American League Pennants and a World Series title in 1989 in which they swept their cross-bay rivals, the San Francisco Giants. After the 1995 season and the death of La Russa’s friend and owner of the A’s, Walter Haas Jr., La Russa moved on only to have more success.

This time his success would be in the National League as the leader of the St. Louis Cardinals. While in St. Louis La Russa’s clubs won the N.L. Central Division title seven times over sixteen seasons. In 2004 won his fourth Manager of the Year award and led the Cardinals to the World Series for the first time since 1987. The Cardinals returned to and won the World Series in 2006 and 2011. La Russa currently works as the Chief Baseball Operator, a position above the general manager that was created especially for him in 2014, for the Arizona Diamondbacks.