The Cardinals have announced that on May 11, prior to their game against the Braves, they will retire Tony La Russa's no. 10.
“Tony's managerial tenure with the Cardinals will always stand out as one of the greatest eras in Cardinals history,” Bill DeWitt, Jr., Cardinals Chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “His passion for winning and his leadership skills were hallmarks of a style that Cardinals fans will always remember with fondness. We look forward to May 11th as we will honor Tony for his historic achievements as a Cardinal.”
By any standard, the honor is deserved. Say what you will about TLR's prickly attitude or his "psych ops" approach to managing, but acknowledge his unassailable success -- a success that has spanned generations.
During his first season in St. Louis, Ozzie Smith, Dennis Eckersley and Rick Honeycutt were on the roster. When he left St. Louis, Shelby Miller was in the upper levels of the system. In 16 seasons at the switch, La Russa guided the Cardinals to a pair of World Series championships, three pennants, seven division titles, eight playoff appearances, and two 100-win seasons. He left as the winningest manager in franchise history -- a franchise that trails only the Yankees in terms of championships.
La Russa will join Stan Musial, Bob Gibson, Smith, Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst, Enos Slaughter, Ken Boyer, Dizzy Dean, Whitey Herzog, Bruce Sutter, Auggie Busch, Jack Buck, and Jackie Robinson as those so honored by the Cardinals.