Well, I thought Part 3 would make a nice, short conclusion to my baseball series… And then I heard the news. One of my friends caught me after chapel today and said, “LaRussa retired.” I thought it was some cruel Reformation Day joke! =) LaRussa, done with baseball? No way! I rushed back to my dorm to see if it was true. Sure enough, all over the internet the news proclaimed the truth: Tony LaRussa would no longer be managing my beloved team.
Maybe this isn’t that big a deal to you, but hear me out. I can’t remember a Cardinals manager other than Tony LaRussa. After realizing this, I did a little research. LaRussa has been a part of the Cardinals’ family for 15 years. He’s been manager since I was 3 years old. The man has managed my team since I was a very little girl. The very first baseball game I ever went to, LaRussa was managing the Cardinals and had been for several years. Another constant in my Cardinals’ memory bank is Albert Pujols. So, today’s news rocked my world. I can’t remember a time when LaRussa and Pujols weren’t Cardinals. They go hand-in-hand. In my mind, with LaRussa gone, Pujols isn’t far behind. So I had a mini-crisis.
Sure, it’s silly. It’s not as if the St. Louis Cardinals are any less my team or as if they’re just gonna curl up in a ball and die. In fact, it’s not even certain that we’re going to lose Albert. Even so, I was thrown off guard by this news.
Desperate for some comfort or at least some commiseration, I searched for a couple of good Cardinals fans. After a half hour of restless searching, I saw my chance and accosted one of them at lunch. =) Well, it wasn’t that hard. Cardinals fans are in need of the Cardinals family today, so he was pretty willing to talk. We chatted for a few seconds while a Rangers fan teased us a little, and I eventually left the two of them to discuss Albert’s fate. Naturally, I side with my fellow Cardinals fan, who believes that Albert wouldn’t leave the team. (Our reasoning? He just can’t leave!) There is turmoil here. The team is changing. I’m losing my hero, the only manager I can remember, a man I know I can trust to care for my team… And it’s hard. But I am grateful for the 15 years God gave LaRussa with the Cardinals. I’m thankful for the consistency that he brought to my team, to my childhood love of baseball. Praise God for a wonderful career for LaRussa, for an awesome team like the Cardinals, for amazing fans like St. Louisans. This may well be the end of an era for the Cardinals, but I’m proud to say that LaRussa is my team’s manager, though he is retiring. He’s the only one I can remember.
Tony LaRussa, Dios te bendiga.
A todos quien lee este, Dios les bendiga. =)