Tony La Russa will return to Chicago for a second stint as the manager of the White Sox, the team announced on Thursday.
The 76-year-old Hall of Famer has not managed since he retired from the Cardinals in 2011. He reached a 2,728-2,365 managerial record during his 33-year career and was inducted into Cooperstown in 2014. He becomes the first Hall of Fame skipper to return to managing after being inducted.
"While I have had other inquiries about managing since retiring, this opportunity with the White Sox brings together a number of important factors that make this the right time and the right place," La Russa said in a statement. "The on-field talent is amazing, and the front office, led by Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn, has done everything necessary to create an atmosphere of long-term success. All of those factors aligned to make this a tremendous opportunity, and I am excited to get going as soon as possible by building a coaching staff and getting to work."
La Russa started his managerial career with the White Sox and led the club to an American League West title in 1983. He amassed a 522–510 record in eight seasons (1979-86). White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf purchased the club in 1981 and fired La Russa only 64 games into the 1986 season. The two men have maintained a close relationship over the years, and the Reinsdorf has always regretted letting the manager go.
La Russa went on to win three first World Series championships as a manager with the A's and the Cardinals. His first came in 1989 in Oakland before he led St. Louis to two in 2006 and 2011.
The White Sox were looking to fill their managerial vacancy after firing Rick Renteria earlier this month. The club made its first trip to the postseason since 2008 but was eliminated in a three-game wild card series against Oakland. After Renteria's firing, general manager Rick Hahn said the team was searching for someone with recent postseason managerial experience. While La Russa certainly has the experience to lead championship teams, he has not managed recently.
Since his retirement, he has served in executive roles with MLB, the Diamondbacks and Red Sox. Following the 2019 season, the Angels hired him as a senior adviser to baseball operations.