This editorial is from the Contra Costa Times:

Tony La Russa retired from baseball last Monday as a champion. It was a classy move by a classy guy.

To most of the country now, he's known as the manager who led the St. Louis Cardinals from 10? games back in late August to capture a playoff spot on the final day of the season, and then cap it off by a winning a championship showdown that featured one of the most exciting World Series games in baseball history.

But we in the East Bay know him as one of ours, a resident of Contra Costa County who has given back to the community in countless ways, most notably the Walnut Creek-based Animal Rescue Foundation. We remember him as the manager who led our team, the Oakland A's, to three straight American League pennants in 1988-90 and the World Series title in 1989.

His ticket to Cooperstown is assured. The manager with the most wins in modern day, and the third-most all time, has a seat waiting for him. He has been a brilliant leader, tactician and motivator during his 33-year career piloting just three teams, the Chicago White Sox, the A's and the Cardinals.

After this amazing season, no one would have questioned the 67-year-old if he had decided to stay. "I think this just feels like it's time to end it," he said. <NO1>as he ruled out returning. to managing again.

We know this won't be the last we hear from La Russa. His <NO1>brilliant mind and<NO>deep sense of community ensure he will return in some capacity, whether it's to a place in the upper echelons of baseball; leading the private, nonprofit, animal welfare organization he and his wife started; or, as he said, "maybe open a book store." For now, Tony, congratulations on an amazing season and a fantastic career — and welcome home.