COOPERSTOWN, NY — The Cardinals will name their next Cardinals Care Redbird Rookies field after former manager Tony La Russa, team chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. announced Saturday night at a reception honoring La Russa’s induction into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Tony La Russa Field, the organization’s 22nd youth ball field, will serve children living in the Clinton-Peabody Public Housing Complex, just a few blocks from Busch Stadium.
"Given your role in founding Cardinals Care, as well as your consistent support of our efforts to help children, we can think of no more fitting tribute to honor you than dedicating this field serving kids in need," DeWitt said in a news release. "Generations of St. Louis boys and girls who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to play the game of baseball will have the chance to play, learn and have fun on Tony La Russa Field."
Since it was established in 1997, Cardinals Care has distributed nearly $20 million to support St. Louis-area non-profit youth organizations. This is the 11th year of its Redbird Rookies program, a free baseball league for children in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The league provides all necessary equipment, as well as extensive off-field support for the nearly 4,500 children who participate in the program each year.
Tony La Russa Field — named after the winningest manager in Cardinals history — is the result of a six-figure investment by Cardinals Care and includes a graded and irrigated playing field, two paved and covered dugouts, bleachers, fencing and a state-of-the art solar powered scoreboard.