Former Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa was elected today to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Expansion Era Committee.
La Russa spent eight of his 33 seasons as a major-league manager with the White Sox, going 522-510 (.506) over 1,035 games from 1979-1986. The 522 wins and 1,035 games are the fourth most in Sox managerial history.
"I want to offer my congratulations to Tony on this well-deserved honor. It is only appropriate that Tony be inducted along with two of the other greatest managers in the history of the game [Bobby Cox and Joe Torre]," said White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf." He began his major-league managerial career with the White Sox in 1979 and led our 1983 team to the American League West title, the first championship for a Chicago sports team in 20 years. Tony won the first of his Manager of the Year awards that season, and I still tell everyone my biggest mistake in sports was letting him be fired in 1986. Tony is a very good friend and an incredible human being. I am so proud of all he has accomplished over the years, capped by today's very special Hall of Fame selection."
La Russa led the 1983 White Sox to a 99-63 record and the American League Western Division championship, the team's first postseason appearance since winning the 1959 AL pennant, and first for a Chicago franchise since the 1963 Bears. The 99 wins are tied for the second-most in a season in franchise history. Under La Russa, Chicago went 399-355 (.529) from 1981-85, the fourth-best winning percentage in the AL, and sixth-best in the major leagues.
La Russa becomes the fifth former White Sox manager to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, joining Frank Chance (elected in 1946), Hugh Duffy (1945), Bob Lemon (1976) and Al Lopez (1977).
La Russa managed the Oakland Athletics (1989) and St. Louis Cardinals (2006 and 2011) to World Series titles. His 2,728 wins as a manager are the third-most in baseball history behind Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763).
The 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Induction weekend will be held from July 25-28 in Cooperstown, N.Y., with the full induction ceremony taking place on Sunday, July 27.