“Forgotten Hollywood”- Bleeding Dodger Blue…

Posted on January 8, 2021 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`Tommy Lasorda was the Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles, and later,  he became an ambassador for the sport he loved during his seventy-one years with the franchise. He worked as a player, scout, manager and front office executive with the Dodgers dating to their roots in Brooklyn.

“`His pro career began when he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies as an undrafted free agent in 1945. Tom missed the 1946 and 1947 seasons while serving in the Army. He made his major league debut on August 5, 1954 for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Though he did not play in the 1955 World Series, he won a ring as a team member.

“`Lasorda stayed on with the  Dodgers as a scout after his release in 1960. This was the beginning of a steady climb through the Dodgers system and it culminated in a 1973 promotion to the big-league staff under longtime Hall of Fame manager Walter Alston.

“`Tommy became manager of the team after Alston retired in 1976. Lasorda was known for his enthusiasm. He would jump around and pump his arms in the air after team victories, embracing players in the dugout after home runs or other fine plays.

“`He discovered many players he managed in the minors, such as Steve Garvey, Bobby Valentine, Davey Lopes, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, and Bill Buckner. Lasorda managed nine National League Rookie of the Year winners, including Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Sax, Steve Howe, Mike Piazza, Eric Karros, and Hideo Nomo.

“`Lasorda had a longtime friendship with Frank Sinatra and other Hollywood stars. He crooned the national anthem on opening day of the 1977 season to ordain Lasorda’s debut as manager. The paneled walls of his office were lined with black-and-white autographed photos of his celebrity friends, the framed glass stained by pasta sauce from food served in large foil trays after games.

“`In 1998,  Lasorda became interim general manager after Fred Claire was fired in the middle of the season. Tommy resigned after the season and was then appointed senior vice president. After the team was sold in 2004 to Frank McCourt, he became special adviser to the chairman.

“`Lasorda attended the Dodgers’ Game Six victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on October 27th in Texas that clinched the team’s first World Series title since 1988. This was the last game he would ever attend.

“`The fiery Tommy Lasorda was ninety-three.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Friday, January 8th, 2021 at 1:51 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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