Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Why I'll always be a La Russa fan!

(and why I don't care if he goes in to the HOF as an Athletic or a Cardinal)

La Russa and Two Others Voted into Major League Baseball's Hall Of Fame on Monday!

It was announced Monday, on the first day of Major League Baseball's winter meetings, that legendary baseball managers Tony La Russa, Bobby Cox and Joe Torre were unanimously voted into MLB's Hall Of Fame. Who votes on this? No, not the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BWAA) who as we know get the privilege of electing players to the Hall (The players elected by the BWAA will be announced on January 8, 2014). Managers are elected to the HOF by the 16 members of the Expansion Era Comittee and each of the were elected by a unanimous vote. 

Of course you should be able to guess who my favorite is  of the three, even though I do have mad respect for each of them.... come on it's the obvious choice of any A's fan - Tony La Russa. As the manager of the A's he led us to what is considered by many of my generation (three in a row in the 70's is obviously insanely HUGE) the most important World Series Title of all, 1989 where we defeated our arch rivals the lame ass gnats! Woohoo! Anyways, I digress because really that's all that matters to me! Well, not exactly because don't get me wrong I was as a young child happy to see my team succeed for many years, winning three American League Pennants under La Russa.  He was basically the inventor of the "closer" role that we know so well today. He took my personal fave baseball player of all time, starting pitcher and fellow Hall Of Famer Dennis Eckersley and turned him into a one inning shut down machine. **side note: I understand that yes, this is a true statement except for most notably game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Gibson, etc, etc. Yes! We all remember and still hate Kirk Gibson, however I personally (and I think ppl should follow suit) do NOT hate the Dodgers - they are the other mortal enemy of the gnats and they hate the Angels ... we have some things in common! Just saying** He is the only manager besides Sparky Anderson to have World Series Titles in both the AL and NL and has more managerial wins than any other manager save for Connie Mack and John McGraw. And he is one of few who have taken three different teams (A's, White Sox, Cardinals) to the postseason. The guy knows his stuff.

Recently there has been conversation on facebook, etc as to how much La Russa knew about the use of PED's during his tenure with well, mainly the A's but it applies to his other teams as well. Whether or not La Russa had knowledge of their usage during the time doesn't matter to me, he was an icon of my childhood who helped my team do what's most important and that's to win! It's the best gift a life long baseball fan can ask for especially at an impressionable age.

He also started the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) whose head quarters are in my home town of Walnut Creek, CA and where I used to volunteer! The people at ARF are amazing, its shelters are no-kill and there are greAt programs for children to learn about animal rights, raising their pets, etc. He has done a greAt deal for the East Bay Area and that I appreciate! It will always be my own .... So I don't really care if he chooses to go into the Hall Of Fame wearing a Cardinals hat instead of an A's hat. He DID win two of his three World Series in Saint Louis but I would also not be surprised to see him wearing an A's uniform at his induction because of his ties and work in the Bay Area along with his managerial career with the Athletics .... either way, I'll always be a La Russa fan!

*Joe Torre long time player and manager of the Yankees, Dodgers, Mets, Braves, Cardinals and Dodgers ranks 5th on the all time wins list and is one of only five managers to win the World Series at least four times.

*Bobby Cox managed the Braves for a total of 25 seasons (in two stints besides 4 years with the Blue Jays), won 3 NL Manager of the Year Awards and one AL Manager of the Year title and is ranks fourth on the all time wins list .... 

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