Tony LaRussa dropped the mic after the 2011 Cardinals won the World Series and retired from baseball.
773 days later, he's a Major League Baseball Hall of Fame member, elected by the Expansion Era Committee. He will be enshrined in Cooperstown on July 27th 2014.
He spent 16 seasons as the Cardinals skip, winning 1,408 games, 3 National League Pennants, 2 World Series Championships and 1 NL Manager of the Year award.
Also, he loved kittens and puppies.
It's hard to quantify what LaRussa meant for baseball in St. Louis.
Before he arrived in 1996, the Cardinals hadn't been to the playoffs since 1987, had posted 62 and 53 win seasons in 1995 and 1994 respectively and was the face of a new ownership group lead by Bill DeWitt Jr.
In one short season, the Cardinals were NL Central champs and losing the NLCS in dramatic fashion to the Braves in 7.
No mind, the Cardinals were winners again. And truth be told, they really haven't stopped. TLR's teams made the playoffs in 9 of his 16 seasons. And the winning ways he instilled have made sure the Cardinals haven't sat our October since 2010.
Chances are they will be back again in 2014.
Opinions on the man vary. He wasn't warm and fuzzy. He didn't care what you thought of his decisions. He wasn't here to entertain. If something blocked the path to winning… it was eliminated.
Some people like the soft sell. LaRussa was tougher than the shingles that he caught in 2011.
But it's undeniable that he was successful. So much so that you can make a strong argument that the Cardinals best "golden age" began with LaRussa in 1996 and is still ongoing… better than ever, perhaps, in 2014.
If that isn't a Hall of Famer, then we shouldn't have a Hall of Fame. Congratulations to #10.