White Sox’s Tony La Russa passes John McGraw for second place on MLB’s all-time manager wins list

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With the White Sox’s 3-0 win over the Tigers on Sunday (box score), Chicago manager Tony La Russa earned his 2,764th win in a major-league dugout. The victory means that La Russa has broken a tie with legendary Giants skipper John McGraw and is now alone in second place on the all-time wins list.

Here’s the updated leaderboard: 

Connie Mack




Tony La Russa




John McGraw




Bobby Cox




Joe Torre




La Russa needs 967 wins to catch Mack atop this list. Given that he’s 76 years of age, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll continue managing long enough to get there. 

La Russa first managed the White Sox from 1979 until 1986, and during that first tenure on the South Side he led them to a division title in 1983. Then came 10 seasons manager of the Oakland A’s and 16 seasons as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals. Along the way, La Russa guided teams to three World Series titles — the A’s in 1989 and the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011. 

When La Russa stepped down as manager of the Cardinals following the 2011 season, it was assumed his dugout days were over, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014. However, La Russa emerged as a surprise candidate for the White Sox job after Rick Renteria was let go following the team’s 2020 playoff run. La Russa indeed landed the job, and despite some early tactical rustiness and one notable controversy he’s guided the team to first place in the AL Central. 

So with his second White Sox stint baked into the numbers, here’s how those 2,764 career wins break down: 

  • White Sox, first tenure: 522 wins
  • A’s: 798 wins
  • Cardinals: 1,408 wins
  • White Sox, second tenure: 36 wins

La Russa right now also ranks second on the games managed list, second in postseason wins (behind Torre), third in postseason appearances, and ninth in career games above .500. If the White Sox achieve their ultimate goal this season, then La Russa will become just the sixth manager in MLB history to win four or more World Series. 

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