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tony larussa, 1972 topps #451, braves

Player: LaRussa, Tony

Card: 1972 Topps #451

Position: 2B/SS

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"If you think about it seriously, there is no way that you can apply Moneyball-type analysis to people that are involved in a competition against other people. The basis of Moneyball is very important […] But […] the individuals that are competing literally change from day to day […] they sometimes change within the game itself." - Tony LaRussa

Tony was born in Florida, the grandson of Sicilian immigrants (paternal). As a player, he made his major league debut in 1963 and spent parts of five major league seasons with the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs - his career limited by shoulder injury and poor hitting.

Tony LaRussa is one of the winningest managers in the history of baseball. Tony was a manager for 33 years with the White Sox, Athletics (winning three consecutive American League championships from 1988 to 1990 and the 1989 World Series title) and Cardinals, where he led the team to three National League championships and the 2006 and 2011 World Series titles. Overall, Tony managed teams to the playoffs 14 times, to the World Series 6 times, and winning three championships. Tony has a Juris Doctorate degree from FSU. In 2020, he was hired to manage to the Chicago White Sox for the 2021 season.

In a sport where tradition reigns and change may be viewed as heresy, Tony LaRussa was considered an insurgent within the ranks of major league managers. Especially with regard to relief pitching, he experimented with innovative strategies, some of which have become standard practice. His most notable contribution was his role in the development of the one-inning closer, which became the norm throughout baseball.

(excerpted from SABR, BR Bullpen & Wikipedia)


1968 Topps #571
1981 Donruss #402
1986 Topps #531
1987 Topps #68
2006 Allen & Ginter #299
2008 Topps #285
2009 Italian American Baseball Heroes #59


Tony LaRussa is part of the Hall of Fame Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Listen to Larry Baldassaro’s interview with Tony here – or view the Next Stop on the Baseball Italian Style Tour

Tony is also part of the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Tony L is also part of the MLB Managers Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Tony is also part of the St. Louis Cardinals Players Tour – Go to the Next Stop

Tony is also part of the Athletics Player Tour – Go To the Next Stop

Tony is also part of the Chicago White Sox Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

Tony is also part of the Chicago Cubs Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

Tony is also part of the Braves Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop

See all LaRussa’s baseball cards at TCDB

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