FSU law school grad Tony La Russa elected to Baseball HOF

Tony La Russa thought he would be a lawyer. But he instead found success on the bench as a manager.

Tony La Russa was then a minor league baseball player and he had a plan for his future.

No, it wasn't to play in the majors. The journeyman knew that dream wouldn't be a reality.

His goal was to be a lawyer. So in the offseason, La Russa spent time at Florida State in the late 1970s earning his law degree.

"I was married," La Russa told me in 2004 before a Cardinals' spring training game. "I knew my career was about to end, so I was looking for another way to make a living. Never thought I was going to manage."

He did manage -- and few were better than La Russa. La Russa won 2,728 games with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals. He claimed six pennants and World Series titles in 1989 with Oakland and 2006 and 2011 with St. Louis. He retired after the 2011 season.

On Monday, La Russa joined two other retired managers -- Joe Torre and Bobby Cox -- as they were unanimously elected to the baseball Hall of Fame by the expansion era committee.

The announcement was made at the winter meetings in Orlando on Monday. The group will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.