D-backs Press Release
D-backs Appoint Tony La Russa as Chief Baseball Officer
2014 Hall of Fame Inductee brings 53 years of experience into front office role
PHOENIX - The Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) have appointed 2014 Hall of Fame inductee and 53-year baseball veteran Tony La Russa as Chief Baseball Officer, as announced by D-backs President & CEO Derrick Hall. La Russa will report to Hall and oversee the entire Baseball Operations department.
La Russa will be introduced today by Hall and D-backs Managing General Partner Ken Kendrick at a 2 p.m. Arizona/Pacific time news conference in the Chase Field interview room.
"The entire organization is obviously frustrated with the results on the field and we are looking to improve," Hall said. "Tony brings us a wealth of knowledge, experience and success, and will work closely with Kevin and Kirk in evaluating our current state to determine the future of our baseball operations. He is excited and enthusiastic about the challenge, and we are fortunate to have this Hall of Famer on board and a part of the team."
La Russa won 3 World Series titles (1989, 2006, 2011), 6 League Championships (1988-90, 2004, 2006 and 2011), 12 division titles (1983, 1988-90, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2004-06 and 2009) and was a 4-time Manager of the Year (1983, 1998, 1992, 2002). La Russa and Sparky Anderson are the only 2 managers to win World Series titles in both leagues. His 2,728 regular-season wins as a manager are third-most all-time behind Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763), his 70 Postseason wins are second-most behind Joe Torre (84) and his 14 Postseason appearances are third-most behind Bobby Cox (16) and Torre (15).
La Russa owns a career .536 regular-season winning percentage (2,728-2,365) and a .547 Postseason winning percentage (70-58) as a manager. He led his teams to 100-plus wins 4 times (1988, 1990, 2004-05), a .600-plus winning percentage 6 times and a .500 winning percentage or better in 24 of 33 seasons.
He boasts 33 seasons of Major League managerial experience with the Chicago White Sox (1979-86), Oakland A's (1986-1995) and St. Louis Cardinals (1996-2011) along with parts of 2 seasons managing in the minors. During his 16-year professional playing career, he spent parts of 6 seasons in the Majors with the Kansas City Athletics (1963), A's (1968-71), Atlanta Braves (1971) and Chicago Cubs (1973)
La Russa most recently worked for Major League Baseball as a Special Assistant to Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. He also served on the Commissioner's 14-member Special Committee for On-Field Matters since December 2009.
La Russa, who is a member of the Cardinals' Hall of Fame and had his No. 10 retired by the team, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Expansion Era Committee along with former Managers Cox and Torre. The trio will be honored at the Hall's Induction Weekend on July 25-28 along with player inductees Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and Frank Thomas. Former D-backs broadcaster Joe Garagiola will also be honored that weekend as the 2014 Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient.
La Russa's big league managerial career began in 1979 with the White Sox when he was hired by then-General Manager Roland Hemond, who currently serves as D-backs Special Assistant to the President & CEO.
La Russa, who yesterday received an honorary doctoral degree and delivered the commencement speech at Washington University in St. Louis, resides in Alamo, California and is a native of Tampa, Florida. He is a graduate of Jefferson High School, which also produced current D-backs Special Assistant to the President & CEO Luis Gonzalez as well as former big leaguers Tino Martinez and Fred McGriff. La Russa earned a degree in industrial management from the University of South Tampa, graduated in 1978 from Florida State University's School of Law then passed the bar exam in 1979 to eventually become one of only 5 lawyer/managers in baseball history, all of whom are in the Hall of Fame. La Russa is the founder and chairperson of Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF).