Tony La Russa Retires as Cardinals Manager

Tony La Russa is going out while he is on top.

Fresh from a third World Series championship, the 67-year-old La Russa announced on Monday that he is leaving the St. Louis Cardinals and closing the book on a 33-year managing career that saw him win 2,728 games for third on the all-time list. Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763) are the only other persons with more MLB wins as manager. La Russa would have easily overtaken McGraw on the list had he decided to guide the Cardinals for another year. However, La Russa said it would not feel right to manage the team merely to pursue the record. “I’m aware of the history of the game, but I would not be happy with myself if the reason I came back was to move up one spot,” he said in a press conference at Busch Stadium.

La Russa won two World Series championships with the Cardinals, this year and in 2006. He started managing the Cardinals in 1996 after leaving the Oakland Athletics, who won the World Series under La Russa’s watch in 1989.

General manager John Mozeliak said a search committee will be formed to find a replacement for La Russa. “There’s going to be a lot of names that we’ll consider,” Mozeliak said. “We want to do our due diligence. We want to be smart.”