PETALUMA - Tony La Russa walked into the back room on the second floor Thursday night of McGuire's Irish Pub and was immediately greeted by the Petaluma National Little Leaguers, the baseball team that finished second in the recent Little League World Series national championship.
"Happy birthday, Tony! Happy birthday to you!" they sang. The former A's manager turned 68 Thursday. These Petaluma kids keep handing out the love.
Tony La Russa In Petaluma
A half hour later after the meet-and-greet, La Russa walked across Kentucky Street to Copperfield's. About 200 people rose from their aluminum chairs and gave La Russa a standing ovation. A lock to be a first-ballot Hall of Fame manager when his time rolls around, La Russa has stories, for the kids and the grown-ups. You don't win three World Series, have the third-most victories of any manager in baseball history and manage Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco without stories.
That's why his book - "One Last Strike" — is 420 pages.
"Remember how they called Oakland the Amazin' A's back in the '70s?" La Russa asked the Copperfield's crowd. "Well, this Oakland team is the Amazingest A's."