CHICAGO – Tony La Russa credited a long list of mentors. He paid tribute to his players, staff and family. He talked about working with strong ownership and front offices over the years.
For La Russa, it was their moment just as much as it belonged to him.
“There's a lot of pieces to this day,” he said.
La Russa moved past John McGraw into sole possession of second on baseball's manager wins list, directing the Chicago White Sox to a 3-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
It was win No. 2,764 for La Russa, who was hired by Chicago in October for his first managerial job since he led St. Louis to the World Series championship in 2011. It has been a bit of a bumpy ride so far, but the 76-year-old Hall of Famer has the White Sox on top of the AL Central.
The crowd of 20,068 cheered as La Russa's accomplishment was announced after the win, and he responded by waving his hat and clapping toward the fans in appreciation.
While La Russa got into a public disagreement with Yermín Mercedes last month, drawing in teammates Tim Anderson and Lance Lynn on the side of the rookie slugger, La Russa's players also seemed to enjoy the accomplishment as they greeted their manager in the postgame handshake line.
“The most important part of this season so far is the way the players have included me as part of the family,” La Russa said.