What do you give to a man who has everything? Immortality.
That's what former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is experiencing now that he's been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. During a weekend full of parades, speeches, dedications and parties, La Russa's legend has been secured for a lifetime. Joined by pitcher Greg Maddux, pitcher Tom Glavine, first baseman/DH Frank Thomas, manager Bobby Cox and manager Joe Torre, La Russa was inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 27 after being unanimously voted in by the membership committee back in December.
It's been quite a whirlwind weekend for La Russa -- one that began with the St. Louis Cardinals naming their upcoming Cardinals Care's 22nd youth ball field at the 12th & Park Recreation Center after the former Redbirds skipper:
La Russa was the fifth out of six inductees to be brought to the Hall of Fame stage. Here's his Cooperstown biography video:
"There is no more fitting tribute to honor you than dedicating this field serving kids in need," DeWitt said #TLRHOF— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 27, 2014
Tony La Russa is up. Video montage begins. Dave Duncan talking...and there's Julio Cruz crossing home plate in 1983. "Na-na-na-na..."— David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) July 27, 2014
In his speech, La Russa thanked many people who inspired and helped him throughout his career, paid homage to every team he worked with and spoke from the heart about his love of baseball:
"If we didn't have Dunc, you could subtract hundreds of those wins ... " ~ Tony LaRussa— Lisa Lo (@llockness) July 27, 2014
Tony La Russa on baseball: "More you love it, more you want to learn. More you learn it, more you love it." #HOF2014— Mark C. Anderson (@MontereyMCA) July 27, 2014
La Russa: "Then I went to St. Louis ... all of that tradition ... so spectacular ... we were motivated to be caretakers." #STLCards— STLCardinalBaseball (@STLCardinals01) July 27, 2014
Not everyone loved La Russa or his speech, though. Plenty of people took to Twitter to let the world know just how much they hated La Russa's entry into the Hall of fame.
On page two, see all the Twitter rage, plus more photos.
Though he was stoic as ever, La Russa stumbled over some words during his lengthy speech, perhaps thinking about those who have broadened his path:
LaRussa is rambling. But like any good Cardinal, MLB will let him do whatever he wants.— Matt (@displaced_fan) July 27, 2014
There will be a brief cocktail reception between part 1 and part 2 of LaRussa's speech.— Kenny Williams (@NotKenWilliams) July 27, 2014
Finally La Russa got his shiny award:
Christ Larussa. These aren't the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Get off the stage.— Jeffrey Starr (@Jeffdoug89) July 27, 2014
As with anything La Russa does, his Hall of Fame honor incited a variety of emotions from fans -- especially because the former Cardinals manager chose to go into the HOF with no logo on his hat instead of choosing among the Cardinals, White Sox and A's:
Tony LaRussa mentions, Ricky, Stew & Hendu by name in HOF Speech but not McGwire or Canseco.— Thomas Ballinger (@BaseballThomasB) July 27, 2014
It's fitting that great skippers like Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa are all inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame at same time.— Joshua Koch (@jokoch09) July 27, 2014
It's too hard to sum up La Russa in a few tweets. But I'll say this. He's the ultimate baseball lifer to me.— Jill Martin (@Jill_CNN) July 27, 2014
La Russa is the biggest asshole for wearing a blank hat on his hall of fame bust. Like bruh?!?!— Donald Sterling (@Summa_Butta) July 25, 2014
But love him or hate him, you'll see La Russa's golden face the next time you visit the Baseball Hall of Fame: