Tony La Russa, the longtime manager of the St. Louis Cardinals who retired following his club’s 2011 World Series championship, will serve as the manager of the National League All-Star Team for the 2012 Midsummer Classic at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig announced today.
Commissioner Selig said: “Tony earned this opportunity with the remarkable run that the Cardinals completed last October, and I am delighted that he shared my enthusiasm about his staying in this role. The All-Star Game celebrates all the best of our game, and it is very appropriate that we will have the chance to celebrate one of the greatest managerial careers of all-time as a part of our festivities.”
La Russa will lead the NL All-Stars for the third time (previous: 2005, 2007) and it will mark his sixth Midsummer Classic managerial assignment, matching Joe Torre’s total and surpassed only by Hall of Famers Casey Stengel (10), Walter Alston (9) and Joe McCarthy (7). While leading the Oakland Athletics, La Russa was the American League All-Star skipper from 1989-1991. La Russa has a 3-2 record in his five Midsummer Classics as manager. The remainder of La Russa’s NL coaching staff will be announced in the months ahead.
La Russa, 67, managed 33 years in the Major Leagues, with the Chicago White Sox (1979-1986), the A’s (1986-1995) and the Cardinals (1996-2011). His clubs won three World Series and made six World Series overall. The four-time BBWAA Manager of the Year won three National League pennants (2004, 2006, 2011) with St. Louis, including its National League-best 10th and 11th World Series championships.
This will mark the second time that a retired manager will lead an All-Star squad. Hall of Fame manager John McGraw retired following the 1932 season and managed the NL squad in the first Midsummer Classic in 1933. Two managers led an All-Star team after moving on to new Clubs immediately following a World Series. Dick Williams was the 1974 A.L. All-Star manager after leaving the A’s for the California Angels following the 1973 World Series. Dusty Baker, who managed the San Francisco Giants to the 2002 Fall Classic, was the 2003 N.L. All-Star manager after joining the Chicago Cubs.