Tony La Russa will mark his 68th birthday in Petaluma on Thursday.

You can see the baseball great at Copperfield's Books, but if you want to hear him speak you need to get hopping and buy a copy of his new book from the store.

La Russa will talk about his book -- "One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season" -- at 7 p.m.

His audience will be the first 200 people to purchase the HarperCollins book from the Petaluma Copperfield's and receive a signing pass. After his talk, La Russa will be available to everybody else who'd like to have him autograph a book and maybe wish him happy birthday.

La Russa retired from baseball a year ago, just three days after his St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series. Through his 30 years as a manager his teams won 2,728 games, the third most in the history of Major League Baseball.

With him at the helm of the Oakland A's between 1986 and 1995, the team entered its Fourth Dynasty and won three straight pennants and the earthquake-fractured 1989 World Series against the Giants.

Copperfield's is eager to see how many fans turn out for his birthday appearance. More than 600 people turned out when he launched the book Sept. 24 at a bookstore in St. Louis.

The city's mayor declared it "Tony La Russa Day." For the Petaluma event, just add the word "Birthday."