The St. Louis Cardinals took the Texas Rangers by surprise last night when they managed to win Game 6 of the World Series after rallying twice from their last strike as the game stretched into the eleventh inning. David Freese’s home run that finished the game made Busch Stadium go wild and made his Cardinals teammates tear off his jersey in celebration.
Besides Sparky Anderson, who managed the Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers to World Series wins, La Russa is the only manager to guide teams from both the American and National League to World Series championships, having brought the Oakland A’s to a victory in 1989.
La Russa’s battle with the Cardinals against the Chicago Cubs over three games was chronicled in the book “Three Nights in August: Strategy, Heartbreak, and Joy” by Buzz Bissinger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who also wrote "Friday Night Lights." "Three Nights in August" shows the baseball games through the eyes of La Russa, who has been named Manager of the Year five times (a record) and is often called one of, if not the, most successful managers today. (Read our review of the book here.)
La Russa graduated with a law degree from Florida State University and is a vegetarian. He is fluent in Spanish and is a passionate advocate for animal rights, having founded the Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation with his wife, Elaine.
Molly Driscoll is a Monitor contributor.