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One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season Paperback – May 14, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062207547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062207548
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (172 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

After thirty-three seasons managing in Major League Baseball, Tony La Russa thought he had seen it all—until the 2011 Cardinals. Down ten and a half games with little more than a month to play, the Cardinals had long been ruled out as serious postseason contenders. Yet in the face of those steep odds, this team mounted one of the most dramatic and impressive comebacks in baseball history, making the playoffs on the night of the final game of the season and going on to win the World Series despite being down to their last strike—twice.

Now La Russa gives the inside story behind this astonishing comeback and his extraordinary career. One Last Strike is a passionate, insightful look at our national pastime that takes you behind the scenes of the comeback no one thought possible and inside the mind of one of the game's greatest managers.

About the Author

Tony La Russa managed the St. Louis Cardinals from 1996 to 2011, as well as the Oakland A's and the Chicago White Sox. He has three World Series wins, six league championships, and five Manager of the Year awards, and is ranked third in all-time major league wins. He and his wife, Elaine, founded the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek, California. They have two daughters, Bianca and Devon.

Rick Hummel has covered baseball for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for forty years. A former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, he has received numerous awards for his writing and has been honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.


More About the Author

Tony La Russa managed the St. Louis Cardinals from 1996 to 2011, and also managed the Oakland A's and the Chicago White Sox. He has three World Series wins, six league championships, and five Manager of the Year awards, and is ranked third in all-time major league wins. He and his wife, Elaine, founded the Tony La Russa Animal Rescue Foundation in Walnut Creek, California. They have two daughters, Bianca and Devon.

Customer Reviews

Tony La Russa, St. Louis Cardinal manager, is Mr. Wonderful.
Marvin P. Ferguson
I Gave this 5 stars to counteract the 1 star review that the one jackwagon posted simply because he can't get the book on CD.
Human Microcosm
Must read for any Cardinal fan, and baseball fans in general!!!
themarkmcguire

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Peter Hillman on September 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On September 1, 2011--one month before post-season play began--the baseball websites and algorithms gave La Russa's Cardinals a 2.6 chance of winning the division and a 1.7 chance of winning the wild card for a combined 4.3 chance of even playing post-season.

Baseball fans everywhere know what happened. La Russa tells us he ignored the sites as he "was more concerned with the basics of maintaining our hard-earned self-respect and respect from others...."

From most, this could sound like just one of many cliches. With superb writing from Hall of Fame sportswriter Rick Hummel, nothing in this wonderful book sounds trite. To the contrary, the stories are incredibly informative and inspiring--and timeless in nature.

La Russa opens with the end of a disappointing 2010. He almost retired. When player-leaders came up to him and said things had gotten too loose in clubhouse, La Russa felt he had lost his ability to instill constant "effort and execution"--the "Cardinal way." He had won World Series in both leagues and already was a certain Hall of Famer. But always, he was a fierce competitor. he couldn't depart after a season like 2010. He would leave after one more best shot.

He decides early on that it will be his final season and tells only his family and the owners. He even holds off telling his closest confidant, Dave Duncan, long-time chief aide, as he worries about Mrs. Duncan's illness.

His secret compartmentalized, from spring training through perhaps the most thrilling World Series ever, La Russa leads and motivates. Thanks to fresh writing, good memory (it helps that La Russa is so bright!) and insightful dialogue, the book reads smooth as silk.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Geraldine Ahearn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
One of the greatest managers of all time, Tony La Russa delivers a remarkable story of the comeback, and his challenging career. The inside story is told from his first day as manager, to fame and success. The author's stories describe how team unity made it all happen, talented players, why present moments are crucial, and much more. He explains the championship years, how he got there, and his unique coaching style. In addition, Tony La Russa reveals team secrets, personal relationships, victories and what brings success. He tells it like it is in pure honesty of how a team learned to study a game, why he was misunderstood as a manager, and what it took to make a great comeback. His inspiring stories convey that a team fought to win, despite all odds against them. We learn about the struggles, the most important games, and suffering from injuries. A portrait is painted of a team that had incredible spirit, which led to achievements. This endearing memoir is powerful, heartfelt, and inspiring throughout. Highly Recommended to all baseball fans!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By busybets on December 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Not only did we find out reasons behind some of the most famous game situation calls of a manager, but we get a glimpse of the genius of Tony La Russa himself. We also see that he realized he didn't always have the right calls but was ready to learn from his mistakes to take his team to a higher level. Tony lived and, yes, loved the game.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Collegemom on December 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great Gift for a true Cardinal Baseball Fan and very well written. Liked this book better than Three Nights in August book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Al Luigs on December 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition with Audio/Video Verified Purchase
Great book. A must for the true Cardinal fan. It was great to relive the 2011 season from Tony's view.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charles W. Peters on December 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great read for any baseball fan, from an insider with knowledge. Mr. LaRussa strikes an easily accessible platform in which to enter the world of professional baseball.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Chris Boerner on December 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition with Audio/Video Verified Purchase
For a sports fan never mind any self-respecting Cardinals fan! Tony walks through the '11 season and provides an insiders view to that historic season. My only critique is that it does get a bit tedious with details at times. But that's a minor concern. Overall, a fabulous read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jane E. Ellis on November 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gave this as a gift to avid Cardinals Fan. He loved it. Said it brought back some great World Series memories.
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