Tommy Lasorda (1927-2021)

https://www.latimes.com/obituaries/story/2021-01-08/dodgers-legendary-manager-tom-lasorda-dies-at-age-93-heart-attack

When I was 10 years old I started to follow the Dodgers for the first time in my life. It was 1977 and Tommy was the manager and they had one of their greatest teams with a great core.

That is still MY team. When I think of the Dodgers that is what comes back to me…not Piazza, Kirk Gibson, or even Kershaw…but that seventies and early eighties team with Lasorda as manager. His name went with the Dodgers… he was with them since the 50s…and so was Vin Scully. Those two will forever be Dodgers. I would love to catch a Dodger-Giants game on tv in Candlestick park and watch the Giant fans boo Lasorda as he changed pitchers…he loved the attention.

In September of 1976 the quiet and understated Walter Alston stepped down and the loud and boisterous Lasorda became the manager. Lasorda was a brawler…he loved to fight but O’Malley told him he would have to calm down especially when he was manager. Tommy never really calmed down a lot…but the fist fights did. He managed them from 1976-1996.

I disagreed with many of his managing decisions but he did win 2 World Championships…My favorite being 1981 by beating those Reggie Jackson Yankees. They had lost to them in 1977 and 1978…and of course the other championship in 1988 with the Kirk Gibson homerun.

My favorite Lasorda moment? After Dave Kingman hit three homeruns against the Dodgers…a reporter asked him his opinion of Kingman’s performance.

….

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

16 thoughts on “Tommy Lasorda (1927-2021)”

  1. I always thought it amazing the Dodgers fire Chuck Dressen and hire Smokey Alston in 1954- Alston retires and Tommy replaces him from 1976-96-replaced by Bill Russell who is fired during the 1998 season–44 plus seasons without firing a manager….. now the Steelers in the NFL have a streak going- 52 seasons 3 head coaches without firing any one…. Lasorda [and Alston} the rare manager also who was never fired.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course Russell coincided with Fox buying them and that was the start of bad times with two bad owners. I’ve read where Peter O’Malley regretted selling them.
      52 years wow… I love that the Steelers are still with the Rooney family.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that was the key -once Peter O’Malley sold the team the stability would change- same with the Steelers- I hated to see the Fox buy the Dodgers- an end of an era. I also know that Walter O’Malley is vilified for moving the Dodgers to LA but he did what he was forced to do. It turned out to be the right move IMO.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yes it was the right move. Ebbets field…was falling apart. I love looking at old pics of it but yea they had to.
        Peter now owns some of the Padres I believe. The Dodgers went from bad to worse…Fox to McCourt. I blame Selig for that totally. McCourt was turned down the year before trying to buy the Red Sox but Selig didn’t want a “Yankees West” with the Dodgers…he paid for it though at the end. McCourt gave him all kinds of trouble.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw a picture of him with Don Zimmer and Harry Caray this morning, and the three of them looked like they were having a lot of fun. Three guys for whom baseball was everything. Sad that he’s gone…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was in Southern California once. I turned the radio on in the car and found Vin calling a Dodegers game, and just drove around the rest of the night listening. I think Rick Monday was the color man…

        Do you subscribe to MLB At Bat or Gameday Audio? I go with the audio…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. MLB At Bat…I finally get to see the Dodgers unless they play the Reds and it’s blacked out.

        You know what I loved about Vin? If you tuned in a game like you did that day…you wouldn’t know what team he was pulling for if you just started to listen. He was no homer. Even Giant fans loved him.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Mind boggling to think of anyone being with one company 70 years, let alone in baseball! One of the last throwbacks to old style baseball. Maybe he’s moved on to somewhere where Seaver and Neikro will be on the mound for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It REALLY boggles my mind…two years ago when Vin Scully was announcing…THIS is the guy who announced Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider and now he is announcing Clayton Kershaw…it doesn’t compute! The same with Lasorda…he was still going to an office at Dodger stadium…the man had a great life…I saw someone post…
      He ate what he wanted, drank what he wanted, won two World Series and was with the Dodgers for 70 years…and lived to be 93…what more can you want?

      Liked by 1 person

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