Tony La Russa has just concluded a new one-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, so he'll be back next spring for his sixteenth year as manager of one of baseball's best franchises. La Russa has won the World Series as a manager in both the National and American Leagues, and trails only the legendary Connie Mack and John McGraw as baseball's all-time leader in managerial victories.
If we're talking about devotion to animals, though, La Russa is second to no one. He's best in class, and he is proving it once more with his strong support for Proposition B in Missouri.
No one would blame La Russa if he went home at the end of the baseball season to relax for a few months, but the fact is, he puts in a lot of hours during the off-season with the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), the organization he founded with his wife Elaine in 1991. ARF's mission: "to create a world where every loving dog and cat has a home, where every lonely person has a companion, and where children learn to care."
For the animals that come through ARF, La Russa's a hands-on advocate and a passionate one. In 2003, ARF opened a state-of-the-art facility in Walnut Creek, Calif., where the staff supplements basic veterinary and adoption services with pet therapy and visiting animals programs in the community. In 2009, ARF adopted out 1,147 dogs and 699 cats.
La Russa is a legend in Redbird Country, having guided St. Louis to more than 1,300 wins, seven division titles, two National League pennants, and the 2006 World Series Championship. Now he has gone to bat for the animals in one of the biggest matchups of 2010 -- the battle over Prop B.
La Russa appears in one of the campaign's ads for Prop B, and he's a great guy to have on our side, speaking up for dogs who can't.
P.S. We also added another iconic name in the state of Missouri as an endorser. Yesterday, we announced that we've attracted the support of former Republican U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth, a former Missouri Attorney General and also a former Ambassador to the United Nations. We are so pleased to have him behind the campaign as well. To keep up with all the breaking news of the campaign, go to www.YesonPropB.com. Just two more weeks to the election, and we are working hard for every vote in the state.
Paid for by Missourians for the Protection of Dogs / YES! on Prop B, Judy Peil, Treasurer.
This post originally appeared on Pacelle's blog, A Humane Nation.