Tony La Russa is a former Major League Baseball player and manager who is currently the Chief Baseball Officer for the Arizona Diamondbacks, overseeing their entire baseball operations department. La Russa was inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee unanimously in 2013.
Prior to his baseball career, the Florida native graduated from the University of South Florida in 1969 then went on to play Major League Baseball sparingly until 1977, after which he earned a Juris Doctor degree from Florida State University College of Law in 1978 and was subsequently admitted to the Florida Bar in 1980.
Instead of pursuing a career in law, La Russa followed baseball, his passion, and went on to win three World Series as manager – one with the Oakland Athletics in 1989 and two with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 and 2011. He retired from managing following the 2011 season after winning 2,728 games and four Manager of the Year awards over his career.
In 1993 La Russa and his wife, both lifelong animal advocates, founded Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, which works to save abandoned and injured animals and also provides them as companion pets for children, seniors, veterans, and people in disadvantaged circumstances. Currently, “ARF” is renowned as a local leader in California’s Bay Area and national model in the animal welfare community.
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