Tony La Russa

April 16, 2006: Albert Pujols hits three home runs, including walk-off, to beat the Reds

With three home runs, including a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth, Albert Pujols closed Busch Stadium III’s first homestand in style. Pujols and more than 36,000 Cardinals fans[1] celebrated Easter on April 16, 2006, with an 8-7 win over the Reds that included three home runs and five RBIs from …

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April 8, 1997: Willie McGee hits his first career walk-off home run

After a winless six-game road trip to open the season, the 1997 Cardinals needed to turn their fortunes around. Willie McGee was all too happy to oblige with the first walk-off home run of his 16-year major-league career. “How beautiful was that?” outfielder Brian Jordan said. “Just the perfect ending.”[1] “You couldn’t write a better …

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February 13, 1996: A’s trade Dennis Eckersley to the Cardinals

Tony La Russa had yet to manage a game for the St. Louis Cardinals, but his Oakland connections were already paying dividends. On February 13, 1996, the A’s traded Dennis Eckersley to St. Louis for minor-league reliever Steve Montgomery, making Eckersley the fourth former Athletics player alongside Mike Gallego, Rick Honeycutt, and Todd Stottlemyre to …

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January 14, 2008: Cardinals trade Scott Rolen to the Blue Jays for Troy Glaus

As a 6-year-old boy growing up in Southern California, Troy Glaus proudly told his mother that he wanted to be the Cardinals’ third baseman. Twenty-five years later, that dream came true, though it required a “very personal” feud between Cardinals manager Tony La Russa and third baseman Scott Rolen to make it happen. On January …

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November 12, 2001: Albert Pujols is unanimous Rookie of the Year selection

At spring training, Tony La Russa found that he had no choice – he had to put Albert Pujols in the lineup. By the end of the season, voters saw the same – and unanimously named him the 2001 National League Rookie of the Year. Pujols received all 32 votes (two voters from each National …

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October 31, 2011: Tony La Russa retires on a winning note

Months before his 2011 Cardinals surged into a National League wild-card berth and stunned all of baseball with the franchise’s 11th World Series championship, Tony La Russa knew it would be his last season wearing the birds on the bat. As the Cardinals entered the dog days of August, La Russa realized that while he …

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October 28, 2011: Cardinals capture their 11th world championship

After rallying from 10 ½ games back in the National League wild-card race and falling behind five separate times in their 10-9 Game 6 victory over the Rangers, a 2-0 first-inning deficit didn’t seem like much for the 2011 Cardinals to overcome. Six unanswered runs later, the Cardinals had a 6-2 victory in World Series …

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October 27, 2011: David Freese’s home run caps historic World Series Game 6

With rain threatening, Major League Baseball postponed the sixth game of the World Series a day. It was well worth the wait. The 47,325 fans at Busch Stadium that evening saw David Freese cement his legacy with a game-tying, two-run triple in the ninth inning and a game-winning solo home run in the 11th. Along …

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October 19, 2011: Cardinals win World Series Game 1

The Cardinals opened the 2011 World Series using the same recipe that got them there in the first place: dependable starting pitching, timely hitting, and sparkling relief. Thanks to a diving play from starting pitcher Chris Carpenter, a two-run single by Lance Berkman, and three shutout innings from the bullpen, the Cardinals beat the Rangers …

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