CHICAGO – Former Cardinals manager, now White Sox manager Tony La Russa moved into sole possession of second on baseball’s career manager wins list Sunday.
La Russa snapped his tie with John McGraw by directing the Chicago White Sox to a 3-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers. It was win No. 2,764 for La Russa, who was hired by Chicago in October for his first managerial job since he led St. Louis to the World Series championship in 2011.
Dylan Cease struck out 10 in seven sparkling innings for the White Sox, and Tim Anderson had two RBIs. The Tigers finished with five hits. They dropped three of four in the series.
La Russa credited a long list of mentors. He paid tribute to his players, staff and family. He talked about working with strong ownership and front offices over the years.
For La Russa, it was their moment just as much as it belonged to him.
“There’s a lot of pieces to this day,” he said.
The crowd of 20,068 cheered as La Russa’s accomplishment was announced after the win, and he responded by waving his hat and clapping toward the fans in appreciation.
While La Russa got into a public disagreement with Yermín Mercedes last month, drawing in teammates Tim Anderson and Lance Lynn on the side of the rookie slugger, La Russa’s players also seemed to enjoy the accomplishment as they greeted their manager in the postgame handshake line.
“The most important part of this season so far is the way the players have included me as part of the family,” La Russa said.
Center fielder Adam Engel said he got his jersey out of the laundry for La Russa to sign, and pitcher Dylan Cease also praised the manager.
“It’s pretty legendary to say that we get to play for him,” Cease said. “He’s calm. He’s funny. It’s nice having him at the helm.”
Second on the list is almost assuredly the highest finish for La Russa, who also began his managerial career with the White Sox in 1979. The top spot belongs to Connie Mack with 3,731 victories.
“It’s beyond sacred. Unattainable,” La Russa said when asked about Mack’s total.
La Russa watched as Chicago won for the 10th time in 14 games. Cease (4-2) struck out 10 in seven sparkling innings, and Anderson had two hits and two RBIs.