Tommy Lasorda

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Tommy Lasorda

Born

9/22/1927, Norristown, Pennsylvania (USA)

Birth Name

Thomas Charles Lasorda

Gender

Male
7.3
out of 10
User Rating
5 votes

Biography

EDIT
Tommy is best known for his 21 years as the Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, establishing a tradition of winning that earned him a trip to Cooperstown in 1997. He has one of the longest tenures of any individual in the Dodger's baseball organization. Tommy also had…more

Credits

Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In August 1988, Tommy got into an on-field fight with the Philly Phanatic, mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phanatic had been beating up a doll dressed up like Tommy, which upset him greatly.

    • On July 10, 2001, Tommy was hit by a broken bat from batter Vladimir Guerrero while coaching third base at the All-Star Game.

    • On August 27, 1988, Tommy won his 1,000th game as a Manager when the Dodgers beat Philadelphia 4-2.

    • On July 11, 1956, Tommy was traded by the Kansas City A's to the New York Yankees for Wally Burnette.

    • Tommy only had one hit as a batter, a single.

    • Tommy never played in the postseason.

    • Tommy never won a MLB game as a pitcher but did have one save.

    • Tommy made his MLB debut on August 5, 1954.

    • Tommy bats left and throws left.

    • In his playing days, Tommy was 5'10" and weighed 175 pounds.

    • Even though Tommy appeared in the majors for parts of three seasons with the Dodgers and Athletics, he also pitched in the Phillies and Yankees' minor league systems.

    • Tommy frequently refers to God as "The Big Dodger in the Sky."

    • Tommy was named the National League Manager of the Year in 1983 and again in 1988.

    • As of 2007, Tommy's 1,599 career wins was the 16th-highest total in Major League Baseball history.

    • Tommy's uniform number 2 was retired by the Dodgers on August 15, 1997.

    • Tommy calls Dodger stadium "Blue Heaven on Earth."

    • Tommy is famous for saying that if you cut him he would "bleed Dodger blue."

    • In June 2006, Tommy was placed into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

    • Lasorda is a member of the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame.

    • Tommy was elected to the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame.

    • Lasorda belongs to the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame which is located in Chicago, Illinois.

    • Tommy is a member of the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.

    • On October 11, 1978 Tommy made a memorable move by bringing in rookie pitcher Bob Welch to pitch against Reggie Jackson. Jackson was one of the most dominant batters of the time. The move came in the ninth inning with two out and the bases loaded. Welch struck out Jackson in a classic 7-minute 9-pitch battle giving the Dodgers a 2-0 series lead.

    • In 1977, Tommy managed the first group of four teammates to each have at least 30 home runs in the same season. The four were Steve Garvey with 33, Reggie Smith with 32, and Ron Cey and Dusty Baker each with 30.

    • Tommy loved stability and managed the longest continuous infield unit in baseball history at 8 1/2 seasons. The unit included first baseman Steve Garvey, second baseman Davey Lopes, shortstop Bill Russell and third baseman Ron Cey. Russell would go on to replace Lasorda as manager.

    • Tommy won the National League pennant in each of his first two seasons as manager (1977 and 1978); he was only the second manager in Major League history to do so.

    • Tommy only started one game for the Dodgers, in which he was pulled after pitching only 1 1/3 innings. The day after, he lost his roster spot to an unproven rookie pitcher named Sandy Koufax.

    • Tommy was good friends with Frank Sinatra.

    • Tommy is renowned for his obscenity-filled rants.

    • Tommy has his own online blog called "Tommy's World."

    • Tommy managed nine players who won the National League Rookie of the Year: Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Howe, Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Sax, Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi, Hideo Nomo, and Todd Hollandsworth.

    • Tommy and his wife Joanne had only one child. Their son died on June 3, 1991, leaving the two parents heartbroken.

    • Tommy is very good friends with the father of former Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza. Tommy was responsible for drafting Mike as the last overall pick in the 1988 MLB Draft as a favor to his father. He is also the godfather of Mike's younger brother who is named Tommy in honor of Lasorda.

    • After retiring, Tommy became an executive with the Dodgers. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 as a manager.

    • Tommy and his wife reside in Fullerton, California.

    • Tommy managed 3,040 games, with 1,599 wins and 1,439 losses (plus two rainouts) for a winning percentage of .526.

    • Tommy was the manager of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team.

    • Tommy has been criticized for over-working pitchers (especially Fernando Valenzuela) and eventually shortening their careers.

    • Tommy broke into the Major Leagues in 1954 as a left-handed pitcher with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

    • Tommy became the Los Angeles Dodger's Manager September 29, 1976, after Walter Alston's retirement.

    • Tommy holds the record for the longest career with the Dodgers (he joined a year before Vin Scully).

    • Tommy was a spokesman for Slim Fast after he lost a lot of weight drinking their shakes.

  • Quotes

    • Tommy: I leave you with a saying in this country; if you don't pull for the Dodgers, there's a good chance you may not get into heaven!

    • Tommy: Here's to the 2006 Dodgers, and all of you Dodger fans, the greatest fans in all of baseball.

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