The Cardinals victory in the World Series has sealed Tony LaRussa’s reputation as one of the most important managers in history and made his chances of being elected to the Hall of Fame even stronger. LaRussa has now won more regular season games than any manager other than Connie Mack and John McGraw, and is likely to pass McGraw next year. He is second only to Mack in total games managed. LaRussa is now tied for sixth most pennants won, and is one of only five managers to win six or more pennants for teams other than the Yankees. This Cardinal team was an extremely unlikely World Champion, but it is not clear that winning the 2011 World Series was LaRussa’s most impressive post-season accomplishment. In 2006, he won a World Series with another Cardinal team that had only won 83 regular season games.
Joe Torre’s streak of nine straight seasons in which his team made the post-season but did not win the World Series, will come to an end this year because the Dodgers will not make the playoffs. While Torre enjoyed tremendous postseason success from 1996 through the 2001 ALCS, a period where his team went 14-1 in postseason series. He has been far less successful in the playoffs since that time, winning only five of his next fourteen postseason series. Moreover, during the first fifteen years of his managerial career, Torre only made the post-season once.