Former Oakland A’s manager Tony La Russa back in the dugout
By David Hill
Former Oakland A’s manager Tony La Russa is back in a major league dugout, as he is set to become the new manager of the Chicago White Sox.
When last we had seen former Oakland A’s manager Tony La Russa in the dugout, he was celebrating his third World Series title. The then 66 year old manager was set to walk off into the sunset a winner, leaving at the top of his game with that final championship banner flying over Busch Stadium forever.
It was not a surprise when the Hall of Fame came calling in 2014. La Russa was not just a three time champion – he ranked third all time in wins amongst MLB managers, trailing only John McGraw and the incomparable Connie Mack. A four time Manager of the Year, he won six pennants overall, and won everywhere he went.
After a decade away from the bench, La Russa is back. White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is finally getting a chance to make up for his biggest regret as an owner, when he fired La Russa back in 1986. He has signed a multi-year deal to take over as the new manager, with the hopes that he can guide the franchise to glory once more.
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That regretted decision in 1986 worked out well for the A’s. La Russa was out of a job for about three weeks before heading to Oakland, taking on a team that had faded from their glory days or even the brief success of Billy Ball. He brought the franchise back, resurrecting the career of players such as Dennis Eckersley and Dave Stewart to build a formidable pitching staff to match the offensive firepower already there.
The A’s became a force to be reckoned with once again with La Russa at the helm. He brought them to the postseason four times in five years, winning three consecutive AL championships and the 1989 World Series. He departed after a decade to head to St. Louis, where he once again found success.
Now his career has come full circle. La Russa is back where it all began, with Reinsdorf having a chance to make up for his mistake. Time will tell if this is the right move, but it has already been a historic decision in one aspect – La Russa is the first Hall of Fame manager to return to the game after his induction.
Former Oakland A’s manager Tony La Russa is back in the dugout. The White Sox are trying to make up for their mistake 34 years ago.