SPRINGFIELD – The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce that it will honor former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa as a Missouri Sports Legend in a ceremony on May 27 in Springfield.
The honor highlights the Hall’s annual Baseball Sports Enthusiasts Luncheon presented by Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper, set for 11 a.m. on May 27 at the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center.
The Hall also will induct former Licking and Hillcrest high school baseball coach Byron Hagler, longtime St. Elizabeth High School softball coach Diane Juergensmeyer and fast-pitch softball standout Roy Burlison. Additionally, the Hall will honor John Schaefer, CEO of Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper, with the President’s Award. A group of nine former baseball and softball standouts will be recognized in our Diamond 9.
Tickets are $40, and a head table ticket is $100. A table of eight is $400 and includes associate sponsorship recognition in the printed program. Many sponsorship levels are available. Call the Hall of Fame at 417-889-3100 to reserve your seats, as the program is expected to generate a high volume of interest.
“We’re thrilled, and looking forward to him being here,” Missouri Sports Hall of Fame President and Executive Director Jerald Andrews said of La Russa. “Byron Hagler, Diane Juergensmeyer and Roy Burlison are very deserving of induction. And I’m really excited about the Diamond 9. It’s giving us an opportunity to remember some of the best people to play high school and college baseball and softball in Missouri.”
Tony La Russa
A specially commissioned sculpture, cast in bronze, will line the Legends Walkway, home to such greats as Stan Musial and Len Dawson. La Russa won 2,728 big-league games in 33 seasons overall, a .538 winning percentage. That figure is the third-most in baseball history behind Connie Mack and John McGraw. His final 1,408 victories came with St. Louis over 16 seasons (1996 to 2011) and marked a franchise record. He led the Cardinals to eight division titles (1996, 2000-2002, 2004-2006, 2009), three NL pennants (2004, 2006, 2011) and won two World Series (2006, 2011).
La Russa’s Cardinals teams finished above .500 in 13 of his 16 seasons. They recorded 105 wins in 2004 and 100 wins in 2005, making La Russa only the second Cardinals manager to oversee two 100-win seasons. He also joined Billy Southworth (1942, 1944) as the only Cardinals managers to win two World Series for St. Louis.
Overall, La Russa is the only manager in MLB history to win multiple pennants in both the American League and National League, and the second – the other being Sparky Anderson — to win a World Series championship title in both leagues.
Byron Hagler was a combined 570-188 (.752) at Licking and Hillcrest high schools. His 570 victories rank second all-time in state history. He was 348-94 at Licking, winning the 1988 and 1989 state championships and 13 district titles. The team was state runner-up in 1983 and 1985. Hagler was 223-94 at Hillcrest from 1994 to 2006, placing fourth in the state tournament in both 1998 and 2006. The Hornets also won seven Ozark Conference championships and four district titles. Hagler spent eight seasons as the pitching coach at NCAA Division II Drury from 2007 until retiring after the 2014 season. The Panthers were 259-164 in that stretch.
Juergensemeyer won more than 400 games in 31 seasons coaching Saint Elizabeth softball beginning in 1980. Her 1992, 1994 and 2002 teams won Class 1 state championships, and she was the assistant coach on the 2011 state championship team. Her 1991 and 1996 teams placed second in Class 1, and the 1994 team placed fourth. Saint Elizabeth also won 13 district championships in her career.
Roy Burlison was a seven-time American Softball Association (ASA) All-American National Team and 69 and 1971 MVP of the ASA National Tour. He pitched the St. Louis Browns to the 1973 national championship and was named one of the top fast-pitch pitchers of all time in 1997. Burlison also is a member of the Missouri ASA Hall of Fame, the Springfield ASA Hall of Fame, the Springfield Area Sports Hall of Fame and the ASA National Hall of Fame.
President’s Award: John Schaefer
For only the sixth time in its history, the Hall will present the President’s Award. The latest recipient is John Schaefer, the CEO of Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company. Schaefer has been a strong supporter of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame since his arrival in Springfield.
Diamond 9 This year’s Diamond 9 are former baseball standouts Jack Burrell of Humansville and Southwest Baptist; Brad Simmons of Glendale High School; Kelly Snider of Hillcrest High School; Barry Short of Mansfield High School; Jim Lumpe of Glendale High School; and former American Softball Association or college/high school softball standouts in Marionville’s Janice Crumpley Bluebaum, Hillcrest graduate Tim Blasi, Caitlin Chapin of Ozark High School and Missouri Southern graduate Diane Miller.
To download and print the flyer click here