‘I’m a Hall of Famer’: Dashcam footage of Tony La Russa’s DUI arrest obtained

WGN Investigates

MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. — WGN News obtained dashcam footage Tuesday showing White Sox manager Tony La Russa’s DUI arrest last year.

The alleged incident happened on Feb. 24, 2020 in the Phoenix area and was filed on Oct. 28, the day before the White Sox hired the 76-year-old to replace Rick Renteria.

In the video, La Russa apparently tells the officer that he hit an object on the road that blew out his tire. The officers then asked if he had any drinks that night. He replied, “no.”

La Russa takes a sobriety test and informs officers he recently “had his hip replaced.” Upon being taken back to the squad car, La Russa informs that he is “legitimate.”

“I’m with the Angels, I’m a Hall of Famer,” he said.

La Russa faced two DUI counts before pleading guilty to reckless driving in December. He was sentenced to one day of home detention, fined nearly $1,400 and is required to complete 20 hours of community service.

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said he knew of La Russa’s arrest before he was hired.

The 76-year-old had been arrested for a DUI before. In 2007, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI in Florida.

La Russa has led his club to a 33-21 record, due for second-best in the American League. Despite the success, he has drawn ire from those around the baseball world for how he handled Yermin Mercedes hitting a home run during a 3-0 count in a blow out.

At Guaranteed Rate Field, a local family was upset recently after the White Sox’s decision to change the name of “Loretta’s Lounge” to “La Russa’s Lounge.” The lounge honored Loretta Michele, who worked in concessions for the club for 66 years.

WGN News filed the Freedom of Information Act request the day news of La Russa’s arrest broke.

In a statement, the White Sox said La Russa expressed remorse after the resolution of his case.

As he stated in December 2020 at the resolution of his case, Tony La Russa expressed embarrassment, deep remorse and contrition for his actions that evening. He also completed the terms of his sentence. After already publicly addressing this matter and taking responsibility for his actions — which resulted in a plea agreement for reckless driving — it is unclear to us how the release of this video today qualifies as being newsworthy. We prefer to focus on continuing to improve as people, as a team and as an organization, both on and off the field.

– White Sox spokesperson

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