Tony La Russia – Baseball Report
by Philip Ross
La Russa (typically misspelled LaRussa) was signed by the Kansas City Athletics as a middle infielder prior to the start of the 1962 year. He reached the A's the next season, making his launching on May 10, 1963. In the following off-season he suffered a shoulder injury while playing softball with buddies and the shoulder continued to trouble him during the remainder of his playing task.
Over the next 6 seasons, La Russa invested most of his time in the minors, making it to the now-Oakland A's lineup in 1968 and 1969. He additionally invested time in the companies of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals.
In 132 total games played, (40 in the beginning schedule), he went 35-for-176, a batting average of.199. His 23 walks pushed his on base section to.292. He had 7 RBI and scored 15 runs. He made 63 appearances at 2nd base, 18 at shortstop, and two at 3rd base, fielding.960 in 249 total possibilities and taking part in 34 double plays.
Prior to becoming a supervisor, he made a Juris Doctor (J.D.) certification from Florida State University, nevertheless never entered the legal occupation. La Russa has actually been approximated as stating, "I selected I would definitely rather ride the buses in the minors than practice law for a living." He is the seventh significant league manager in ball history to have made a law level, the previous 6 being Monte Ward (New York Giants, Brooklyn and Providence, late 1800s), Hughie Jennings (Detroit, 1907-20, New York Giants, 1924), Miller Huggins (St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees, 1913-29), Muddy Ruel (St. Louis Browns, 1947), Jack Hendricks (St. Louis Cardinals, 1918, Cincinnati, 1924-29) and Branch Rickey (St. Louis Browns, 1913-15, St. Louis Cardinals, 1919-25, later the designer of the contemporary farm system in baseball and still later the supervisor who broke the color line by signing Jackie Robinson). Every one of La Russa's attorney-manager ancestors other than Ruel and Hendricks are in the Hall of Fame-- Ward as a player, Jennings and Huggins as supervisors, and Rickey for his achievements as an executive.
La Russa had a getaway of less than 3 weeks prior to his old club, the Athletics, called your man to take over as manager. With the A's, he led the club to 3 successive World Series, from 1988 to 1990, sweeping an earthquake-delayed Series from the San Francisco Giants in 1989. In 1988 and 1990, La Russa's Athletics lost the World Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds in considerable fashion, despite the fact that the A's were heavily favored on both occasions. He made 2 additional Manager of the Year awards with the A's, in 1988 and 1992, once again gaining the Western Division in the latter year.
- P Maldonado Publishing, July 2013
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