Pictured above: Tony LaRussa with Jim Edmonds and Martin Mathews at the 2006 Mathews-Dickey “Jack Buck Celebrity Night with the Stars” at the Missouri Athletic Club.
Author of the book’s foreword, Tony LaRussa’s involvement with the club actually dates back to 1996 when he was invited by his good friend Jack Buck, the Hall of Fame St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster, and his wife, Carole, to speak at a popular Mathews-Dickey banquet.
It was there at the ‘Jack Buck Celebrity Night with the Stars’ that fans had the opportunity to ‘play’ first base or pitcher on then St. Louis Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa’s ‘Dream Team’. More than a “good sport” LaRussa posed for dozens of pictures at each of those events as sponsors who sign on for a Team Player table had the opportunity to pull for their position, as well has have a picture taken with him. Held at the Missouri Athletic Club, the celebrity dinner auction raised much-needed funds for the Club’s Sports Program and celebrates the life and legacy of the late Hall of Fame Broadcaster Jack Buck.
More of LaRussa’s memory:
“St. Louis has had more than its share of famous people from all walks of life. For many of us it was the men and women who were part of the St. Louis sports scene that received most of our attention. We know all about the accomplishments that earned them their honored place in history.
There is another St. Louis legend, Martin Luther Mathews, who has earned our respect and admiration for his contributions not just to sports, but to the life pursuits of a great many young people. Once you learn about his work in our community, you will understand and agree…
From that first experience and continuing through the years, I learned that Mr. Mathews’s leadership was significantly impacting the lives of a great many kids through their club participation. Thousands of children went to college and on to successful careers because of the efforts of the Mathews-Dickey leaders, staff, and volunteers. Now many of their sons and daughters are continuing to help kids move in a positive direction as teachers, coaches, mentors, and counselors…
He came to the ballpark frequently and often had trouble getting to his seat on time because so many people stopped him for handshakes and hugs. I remember one special game when his grandson, Clayton, who was working his way up the ranks as an opera singer, sang the national anthem. Mr. Mathews was just bursting with pride.
My other favorite memories come from talking baseball with Mr. Mathews. As a former semipro player himself, and a coach for many years, he was very knowledgeable and provided me with many insightful comments about how the Cardinals were playing. He probably could have been a big league manager if he had put his mind to it. But I am grateful that he poured his heart and soul into the Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club. His impact on young people is far greater than games won. And I know the people of St. Louis share that appreciation as well, and maybe even more so after they read this account of his life and the children he helped.”
—Tony La Russa
To read Tony’s full memory, pick up you copy of “I Trust You With My Life” today!