HOUSTON -- Thursday's game against the Astros is manager Tony La Russa's 4,999th regular-season game, in his 33rd season as a skipper.
When La Russa coaches the Cardinals on Friday in Milwaukee, he will join Connie Mack as the only manager or coach in American professional sports history to reach 5,000 games.
"It's gotten my attention," La Russa said. "That's a lot of games. The most important thing to me is that it re-emphasizes the career wins with three outstanding organizations."
La Russa managed the White Sox for eight years and the Athletics for 10 before beginning his tenure with the Cardinals. He has produced 11 90-win seasons, and has won five pennants and two World Series as a manager.
"It's all tied together and involved with the organizations I'm with," he said. "You see everything that's done to put the Major League club in a competitive situation and contending situation, and you get fired up and see how special it all is."
La Russa said that coaching successful franchises and having a chance to win every year keeps him hungry.
"The October excitement is the No. 1 motivator," he said.
La Russa said that the best piece of advice he received as a manager was from former skipper Paul Richards, who told La Russa, "Trust your gut, and don't try to cover your butt."