A day after delivering the commencement speech at Washington University in St. Louis, Tony La Russa is headed across the country to the desert as the Arizona Diamondbacks have announced his hiring as their Chief Baseball Officer. As such, La Russa will oversee the entire Baseball Operations department.
“The entire organization is obviously frustrated with the results on the field and we are looking to improve,” Arizona President and CEO Derrick Hall said via press release. “Tony brings us a wealth of knowledge, experience and success, and will work closely with Kevin and Kirk in evaluating our current state to determine the future of our baseball operations. He is excited and enthusiastic about the challenge, and we are fortunate to have this Hall of Famer on board and a part of the team.”
La Russa will officially be introduced at a 1pm (CT) press conference this afternoon.
A 53-year baseball veteran, La Russa has most recently been working as a Special Assistant to Commissioner Bud Selig but had hinted in the past that he would be open to returning to a team–not as a manager, but in a front office-type capacity.
In his 33 years as a ML manager, La Russa won 3 World Series titles (1989, 2006, 2011), 6 League Championships (1988-90, 2004, 2006 and 2011), 12 division titles (1983, 1988-90, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004-06 and 2009) and was a 4-time Manager of the Year (1983, 1998, 1992, 2002). La Russa and Sparky Anderson are the only 2 managers to win World Series titles in both leagues. His 2,728 regular-season wins as a manager are third-most all-time behind Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763), his 70 Postseason wins are second-most behind Joe Torre (84) and his 14 Postseason appearances are third-most behind Bobby Cox (16) and Torre (15).
La Russa will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame the weekend of July 25-28 and the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame ceremony is August 16th.
The Arizona Diamondbacks visit St. Louis for a three-game series beginning May 20th.
photo credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE