Tommy Lasorda was born September 22, 1927. He was a hardcore baseball lifer, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954 and 1955 and for the Kansas City Athletics in 1956. After retiring from playing, Lasorda worked as a scout for the Dodgers and eventually worked his way into coaching. He coached for the Dodgers from 1973 through 1976 before taking over as manager of the club. Lasorda led the Dodgers to four NL pennants and two World Series championships during his tenure. Upon retiring from the managerial position in 1996, he continued to work for the Dodgers in a variety of roles for the rest of his life.
Lasorda was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 as a manager in his first year of eligibility. He died January 7, 2021 from a cardiopulmonary arrest in Fullerton, California at the age of 93.
Rest in peace.
My wife tells me one day, “I think you love baseball more than me.” I say, “Well, I guess that’s true, but hey, I love you more than football and hockey.”
About the only problem with success is that it does not teach you how to deal with failure.
The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.
Baseball is like driving, it’s the one who gets home safely that counts.
Manager Tommy Lasorda was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997. He managed the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1976-1996, and spent more than sixty years as part of the Dodgers organization. I particularly enjoy the story about John McNamara.
The saddest day of the year is the day baseball season ends.
I love doubleheaders. That way I get to keep my uniform on longer.
En Cuba, no se habla de la pelota, se discute… ~dicho popular
Last night, I watched Greener Grass: Cuba, Baseball and the United States, a documentary that recounts the history of baseball in Cuba. It took some effort to get my hands on a copy, but with the help of the folks at the public library, I finally managed to get one through inter-library loan.
The history covered in the documentary begins in 1878, with the formation of the first Cuban League. Throughout the video, the cultural and political implications of the game as it exists in Cuba receive scrutiny. Given the nature of the relationship between the United States and Cuba, it is no surprise that baseball would necessarily have a political role. Up until the Cuban Revolution and the ban on professional sports in Cuba in the early 1960s, Americans and Cubans frequently played ball together on the small island nation. Cuban baseball, in fact, had integrated several decades before American baseball. As the documentary depicts, the game has served as both a connection and a barricade between the two nations.
The documentary incorporates a ton of historical footage, including interviews with men like Rene Arocha, who was among the first forty Cuban players to defect during the 1990s, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez, who went on to play for the New York Yankees, and Tommy Lasorda, the former Los Angeles Dodgers manager who also played in the Cuban Professional League.
What struck me most intensely as I watched this film was the reverence that Cubans clearly hold for baseball. This may be the National Pastime for the United States, but for Cuba, baseball holds an almost religious status. The level of play and competition in this small nation rivals that of even the most talented American teams. As Cuban fans like to point out, their teams don’t play for fame or money, but rather, they play out of love for the game.
In Cuba, you don’t talk about baseball, you argue… ~popular saying
Pressure is a word that is misused in our vocabulary. When you start thinking of pressure, it’s because you’ve started to think of failure.