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As player, Matheny knew La Russa was HOF caliber

CHICAGO -- Mike Matheny fielded a few questions on Friday about the man who used to occupy his post as the Cardinals' manager, Tony La Russa.

La Russa will be inducted to the Hall of Fame on Sunday in what is one of the deepest classes in recent memory. Along with La Russa -- who has three World Series rings to show for his 33 seasons managing the White Sox, A's and Cards -- fellow skippers Joe Torre and Bobby Cox, slugger Frank Thomas and pitchers Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux will be enshrined.

Matheny, who played catcher for La Russa's Cardinals from 2000-04, said: "We knew we were in the midst of a Hall of Fame-caliber manager. When you look at the numbers and the things he's been able to accomplish, obviously very worthy of the Hall of Fame."

La Russa was hired in May by the Arizona Diamondbacks to be the team's chief baseball officer.

"I think [La Russa is] enjoying getting back into -- not just being involved in the game, but being involved with the team -- winning and losing, where it means something," Matheny said.

Hall of Fame coverage begins at 11 a.m. CT with MLB Tonight live from Cooperstown on MLB Network and simulcast on and the At Bat app, with the induction ceremony beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for
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