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Wade Boggs: Hall of Fame 2005

Yea or Nay: La Russa belongs in Hall of Fame

Does Tony La Russa belong in the Hall of Fame? How about Lou Piniella? The Times sports colunists square off on some Bay area candidates' chances.

Published July 27, 2005

It boils down to two questions, really. Do you believe there should be a baseball Hall of Fame, and do you believe managers should be eligible?

If so, Tony La Russa belongs. Period.

There are 16 managers in the Hall; La Russa has won more than 13 of them. Before August is completed, that number will be 14. He has won more games than Bucky Harris or Joe McCarthy or Walter Alston, more than Leo Durocher or Casey Stengel or Tommy Lasorda, more than Earl Weaver or Miller Huggins. Some day, Joe Torre and Bobby Cox will get support for the Hall; La Russa has won more than they have, too.

Baseball is in love with magic numbers, right? Think of this. More men have hit 500 home runs, more have collected 3,000 hits than have won 2,000 games as a manager. La Russa is one of seven.

He has won often, and he has won big. He has one World Series title, four appearances. He has been manager of the year five times. Before La Russa, the White Sox had gone 34 seasons without reaching the playoffs. He won three straight pennants with the A's. In St. Louis, his teams have made the playoffs five times in eight seasons.

Would another World Series title help his resume? Sure. On the other hand, Durocher and Weaver only won one title, too.

[Last modified July 27, 2005, 07:45:07]

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