Filed under Lawyers Who Do Non-lawyerly Things Well.
TLR: A Manager’s Manager, And A Lawyer Too
By Joe Palazzolo
A few words about Tony LaRussa, in the wake of the St. Louis Cardinals’ win last night over the Brewers. He’s been the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals for 16 seasons — making him the longest-tenured coach in the majors — is the third winningest coach in MLB history and just steered his team to their 18th NL pennant.
And if his name appears on this blog — TLR, 67, the match-up king — must also be something else: a lawyer.
(Disclosure: Your new LB writer is a St. Louis native, and his views about LaRussa are his own.)
Many of you already know the story, but for those who don’t it goes like this: LaRussa, a middling minor leaguer, enrolled at Florida State Universty College of Law and earned his J.D. in 1974. He passed the Florida bar but put off his legal career to ride the buses in the minor leagues, after accepting a managing position with the Chicago White Sox AA-squad.
Then, in 1979, LaRussa got called up to The Show, at the age of 34. His first couple seasons as the Sox’ manager were uninspiring, but by 1983 he had hoisted the team to the top of the division with 99 wins. Fired by the White Sox in 1986 after a lackluster start, he was picked up by Oakland Athletics, whom he led to three consecutive AL pennants and a Word Series title in 1989. Another crown with the Cardinals followed, in 2006.
The lawyer-turned-manager has had a few brushes with the law in his career. He sued Twitter in 2009, after someone created a fake account in his name and made light of drunken driving — to which he pleaded guilty in 2007 — and the deaths of two Cardinals pitchers. TLR later dropped the suit against the micro-blogging site, without compensation.
LBers, we like stories about lawyers who do non-lawyerly things well. Like managing a baseball team. If you’ve got other examples, send them our way. We’d like to make this a regular feature.
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