After spending his last few years as manager in St. Louis shaking hands with the Hall of Famers in the red blazers on Opening Day, Tony La Russa is now on the other side of the plate.
“It doesn’t wrinkle, because I slept in it,” joked La Russa, who is still adjusting to life as a Hall of Famer. “I got it yesterday afternoon and I slept in it. I don’t know how to describe it. I doesn’t feel right, but I’m not taking it off. I’m not giving it back.”
Prior to the home opener on Monday, La Russa was on-hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and then tour of the new St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame and Museum.
“I think they’ve done a great job of honoring the incredible history of the franchise,” said the former manager. “You start at the beginning up until today, the detail—you can just tell the people who are putting this thing together they speak with so much emotion. They definitely get it. I would encourage the fans to go through it slow and appreciate every bit of it.”
Besides stopping to enjoy a video of David Freese’s dramatic home run in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, La Russa was also drawn to the Stan Musial area and a display on the Negro Leagues in St. Louis.
“I’m a history buff to start with–I really enjoyed the older pieces.” La Russa enjoyed it so much, that he intends to offer some of his own baseball collectibles for the new museum.
“I’m going to talk to Bill about it. I’ve got some stuff at home that he’ll appreciate.”