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Cardinals unveil field named for La Russa


CHICAGO -- Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. announced on Saturday that the team will name its next Cardinals Care Redbird Rookies field for former manager Tony La Russa.

The professionally designed Tony La Russa Field will be Cardinal Care's 22nd youth field, and designated for children in the Clinton-Peabody Public Housing Complex, a mile southwest of Busch Stadium.

The six-figure project will include an irrigated playing field, two covered dugouts, bleachers and a solar-powered scoreboard.

The announcement was in conjunction with La Russa's induction to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, becoming the eighth Cardinals manager enshrined.

"We can think of no more fitting tribute to honor [La Russa] than dedicating this field serving kids in need," De Witt said at the event. "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."

Cardinals Care was established in 1997 as a means for fans and players to join efforts in guiding children in the community. The foundation has distributed close to $20 million to various non-profit youth organizations and initiatives, such as the field honoring La Russa.

The Redbird Rookies, an 11-year-old initiative through Cardinals Care, is a free league designed for underprivileged children, for whom La Russa's field will serve.

Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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