La Russa: No 'StL' on his Cooperstown cap

News-DemocratJanuary 23, 2014 

Retired St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has decided to not have a Cardinals cap on his plaque in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, hall officials announced Thursday.

La Russa, who will be inducted into the hall July 27, said his election stemmed from his three lengthy managing stays with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and the Cardinals -- though his longest stint, and two of his three World Series titles, came with St. Louis.

"The Chicago White Sox gave me my start in the game as a big-league manager for my first eight seasons in my 33-year managerial career," La Russa said in the Hall of Fame announcement. "In Oakland, we recorded four first-place finishes in 10 years, winning three pennants and a World Series.

"And in St. Louis, our clubs won three pennants and two titles in 16 years. It's the totality of the success of each of those three teams that led me to Cooperstown, so I am choosing to not feature a logo so that fans of all clubs can celebrate this honor with me."

Former Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux also opted against a logo on his cap, saying he couldn't pick between the two teams.

The other men to be inducted into the hall announced their cap choices Thursday, in conjunction with Cooperstown officials. Those choices include:

* Joe Torre: New York Yankees

*Bobby Cox: Atlanta Braves

*Tom Glavine: Atlanta Braves

* Frank Thomas: Chicago White Sox

Torre also managed the Cardinals, Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers in addition to the Yankees. Cox also managed Toronto in addition to his time in the Braves dugout.

"The Museum staff works with each inductee by suggesting an appropriate logo option, or no logo at all," said Jeff Idelson, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. "For those whose most compelling contributions clearly took place with one team, a logo makes sense. For those whose careers were built significantly among multiple teams, not having a team logo is equally acceptable.

"Regardless of the selection, a Hall of Famer belong to every team for which he played or managed, as well as every fan who followed his career."

La Russa, Cox and Torre were each unanimously elected by a committee of Cooperstown officials, baseball historians and Hall of Famers considering long-retired former players or managers who retired recently.

Maddux, Glavine and Thomas were all elected in their first year of eligibility in voting by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, announced earlier this month.

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