Anthony "Tony" La Russa Jr. was born October 4, 1944 in Tampa, Florida. He is one of the greatest baseball managers of all time.

La Russa graduated from Jefferson High School in Tampa and received his law degree from Florida State University College in 1978. He passed the Florida bar exam in December 1979 making him one of only five lawyer/managers in baseball history.1

Tony La RussaLike most coaches, La Russa started off as a player, breaking in with the Kansas City Athletics in 1963 but was soon riding buses in the minors.

A journeyman second baseman and sometimes shortstop, La Russa returned to the top-level professional baseball league of North America, Major League Baseball (MLB) in 1968.

He stuck it out for five seasons between 1968 to 1971 and 1973, with the Oakland Athletics, Atlanta Braves, and, in 1973, a final MLB season with the Chicago Cubs.

Infielder La Russa only saw action in 162 MLB games. With 216 at bats, he ended with a dismal batting average of .199, 9 RBIs and no home runs (HR). The dimmed against his impressive minor league statistics of 1,295 games player, 4,418 at-bats, a batting average of .265, 263 RBIs and 69 HRs.

Failing to win a spot on a MLB roster, he returned to the minors playing for a variety of triple A teams ending with the 1977 New Orleans Pelicans.

Riding the benches in the majors gave La Russa lots of time to study the game from that vintage point, and he put it to good use.

In 1979, just as he was wrapping up his Florida bar exams, the Chicago White Sox took a chance on the rookie manager-candidate and gave him the reigns. He led the White Sox until 1986 and the joined the Oakland Athletics, where he managed the 1989 squad to the World Series.

In 1996, he became manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, a position he holds as of August 2009. In 2006, under his guidance, that team won the MLB World Series. On four separate occasions, MLB named him Manager of the Year.

In spite of his training in law, or simply because of the high profile his job entails, he has had his share of personal legal controversy, mostly of recent date.

In 2007, he was found asleep behind the wheel of his running vehicle, which had fortuitously stopped at a street light. He plead guilty to drunk driving (DUI).

In 2009, he started legal action against the social networking site Twitter for allegedly allowing another person to impersonate him. But in July of 2009, he quietly filed a withdrawal.

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