Tony La Russa

by Jack Ol 12 May,2021
Tony La Russa

Tony La Russa is an American professional baseball manager who led his teams to three World Series titles (1989, 2006, and 2011). He has the third most managerial wins (2,728) in major league history behind Connie Mack and John McGraw.

La Russa was born in Tampa, Florida on October 4, 1944, to Anthony and Olivia (Cuervo) La Russa. 

Tony La Russa's Career 

La Russa agreed to play baseball with the Kansas City Athletics (or "A's") out of high school. He spent most of his 16-season playing profession in the minor leagues while showing up irregularly in the majors with the A's (both in Kansas City and, later, in Oakland, where the franchise relocated), the Atlanta Braves, and the Chicago Cubs.

Tony La Russa  SOURCE: MLB

He was named the chief of a minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox in 1978, and his first big league mentoring job came the next year when he assumed control over the White Sox late in the 1979 season.

In 1983, he led the White Sox to a 99 win season and the team's first playoff appearance in 24 years. 

In 1986, his old club, the Athletics, called him to take over as manager after which La Russa inherited a team that was 31-52 trailing in the 7th place. The Athletics under Russa's tutelage, went 45-34 the rest of the season to finish in 3rd place in 1986. He led Oakland to the highest win total in the majors for three straight seasons (1988-90). Each of the seasons, the Athletics ended with them winning the American League pennant. They also defeated the San Francisco Giants to win a championship in 1989. The Tampa-born manager led the A's to another division title in 1992. 

In 1993 he moved to St Louis Cardinals. In his first season, he guided the team to the first of seven division titles the Cardinals would win during his tenure. In 2004, he guided the Cardinals to a National League pennant victory. Two years later, he helped the team win the World Series. He gave the Cardinals another World Series in 2011. La Russa has been named the AL's Manager of the Year three times (1983, 1988, and 1992). He joined the Arizona Diamondbacks as their chief baseball officer, three years after he retired from managing. After leaving the team at the conclusion of the 2017 season, he joined the Boston Red Sox (in October 2020) as an assistant to the team's general manager. He was coming out of retirement to replace Rick Renteria as their manager. 

La Russa was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014. He is among the number of major league managers in baseball history who have graduated from law school or passed a state bar exam; others being James Henry O'Rourke, John Montgomery Ward, Hughie Jennings, Miller Huggins, Muddy Ruel, Jack Hendricks, and Branch Rickey. 

Tony La Russa's Net Worth and Salary

La Russo's net worth is estimated at around $30 million, as per numerous sources. MLB is known for keeping the details relating to the salary and net worth of general managers and coaches classified. Sources, nonetheless, claim GM salaries generally range from $500,000 to $2.5 million, with a few of those exceeding the higher figure.

Tony La Russa guided his teams to three World Series titles, six league championships, and 12 division titles. SOURCE: Getty Images

Although MLB players are reported to make a lot of money, that, however, is not the case with general managers. Even the most substantially paid field generals don't come close to cracking eight figures. But considering La Russo's 50+ years of affiliation with the billion-dollar sports franchise, his fortune could very well be in the bracket of tens of millions. Also, most managers have a lot of incentives included in their contracts. 

Tony La Russa's Wife and Children

La Russa is currently the husband of Elaine Cooker, co-founder of the Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation. They have been married for more than forty years. They married in December 1973.

The couple share two daughters, Bianca Tai, 33, and Devon Kai, 30. Tony and Elaine are the founders of Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation headquartered in Walnut Creek, California. In 2020, the Chicago White Sox manager said it was his wife, Elaine who talked him into going vegetarian. 

Tony La Russa and his family — (from left) daughter Bianca, wife Elaine, daughter Devon — at the La Russas’ Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in Walnut Creek.  SOURCE: Animal Rescue Foundation

They currently reside in Alamo, California. 

La Russa also has two daughters, Andrea and Averie from his first wife, Luzette Sarcone - with whom he was married from 1965 to 1973. Andrea is in the profession of sales while Averie is a journalist. 

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