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Tommy Lasorda is a celebrity. He is also a leader.



Tommy Lasorda was born on the first day of autumn. This season is the most important in baseball games. Many years later, he will leave a lasting mark in the fall, but on that day, in 1927, the Brooklyn Dodgers lost a double header. LaSorda from Norristown, Pennsylvania will grow into a robust left-handed pitcher, but he will never win for them.

Like his former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Walter Alston (Walter Alston), LaSorda only briefly served as a major league player. Alston didn’t strike. Lasorda didn’t win at the beginning. However, from 1954 to 1

996, they managed the team in an uninterrupted manner and merged all the championships of these six series by 2020.

“Their strength is the strength of the Dodgers: they understand the minor league system, they know how players become major leagues, they understand the importance of scouting and player development-they know this from the beginning,” Fred Claire Claire) the former Dodgers general manager said Thursday. “They have different personalities, but their foundations are almost the same.”

Lasorda was a senior member of the Baseball Hall of Fame until his death at his home at the age of 93 on Wednesday. If, as he has always claimed, there is indeed a blue heaven for Dodgers, he can look down at the world and see his old team above it. When the Dodgers won the World Series last October, he was watching the game in a stadium suite in Arlington, Texas.

“I think he needs to be there, do you know?” Bobby Valentine said on Thursday. “It’s like he needs to go home from the hospital with his wife, so she can say it’s okay.”

Valentin, a longtime Major League Manager, worked at Globe Life Field in Lasorda. Mutual friend Warren Lichtenstein arranged for Lasorda to accompany the doctor to Texas on a private jet.

“He didn’t stand up-we pushed him in, he was sitting all the time-but in the last round there was only one or two outs, he stood up and he watched the game stand firm and when they won , He raised his hands and raised his head and said, “Oh, yes! Said the lover. “For those around him,’Oh yes, this is what he said when he exhausted all the games after winning:’Oh yes, we did it! ‘”

Lasorda’s team won 1,630 games in the major leagues (including the playoffs). In 1981 and 1988, he won the Dodgers seven division titles, participated in the World Series four times and won two championships. After retiring, he managed the American baseball team (mainly minor leagues) until the 2000 Sydney Olympics won the gold medal.

However, for Lasorda, the game is only part of the story. He is a true celebrity, friends of Frank Sinatra and Don Rickles, and they always know where to find a camera. He can play a pointy wizard on a children’s TV show (“baseball bunch”), share wisdom, or spoil his nose in front of reporters who dare to ask for his views on the performance of his competitors. Jon Lovitz played him in “Saturday Night Live.”

Lasorda about the mascot. In 1989, he ordered the referee to eject Youppi! —The orange spots on the jerseys of the Montreal Expo are making noise on the Dodgers canoe. A year ago, he wrestled Phillie Phanatic at the veterans stadium and beat him with a plush Dodgers dummy.

Later, Lasorda and Phanatic, played by Dave Raymond, formed some kind of behavior during the 1979 MLB friendly visit to Japan. The mascot laughed at the manager, and his posture caused the fans to laugh. But LaSorda had an unforgettable time in Philadelphia that day, and an unprecedented moment was born.

Raymond said on Thursday: “At all the other times I interacted with him, he did stroke it with his tongue, but I knew he was angry because he used my name and he strung some selective Foul language.” “I’m a little confused- “I think he is really angry!” -When my head is about to fall, I I was really angry. So in the next few games, I put a dummy on the Phillies canoe and fed it with pizza. At that time, I thought, “Okay, you start.””

Years later, when Lasorda spotted Raymond in the lobby of the baseball winter meeting, he reviewed the fights of his friends one by one. This is the entire content of Lasorda’s performance. Lasorda always asks Raymond about his father Tubby, who is a long-term football coach at the University of Delaware.

Raymond said: “Except for his family, his close friends and the Dodge family, the biggest sadness is baseball, because Tommy is the best ambassador.” “We are no longer like Tommy Lasorda. ) Or Earl Weaver or Tug McGraw or Jay Johnstone. These people seem to have been eliminated. With the travel movement Development, and the emphasis on performance and analysis, all of this, we are losing some of the best parts of baseball, and we became obsessed with something when we were young. Characters like Tommy provide a wonder Window frame.”

Valentin (he is a colorful character himself) agreed with this idea, but he emphasized Lasorda’s role as a visionary. He saw the hills in the distance overlooking the Dodger Stadium. ). He opened clinics around the world, learned Spanish and won championships, such as Fernando Valenzuela, one of the earliest baseball stars from Mexico, and Hideo Nomo, the first MLB all-star player from Japan.

For lovers, Lasorda has inherited the blood of the Dodgers and other teams’ hall of fame directors, Branch Rickey, who brought Jackie Robinson into the profession and developed the blueprint for the modern farm system .

Valentin said: “Tommy is on the baton of doing things.” “He is an old Italian with the old Italian way, but to some extent, with a high school education, he knows that the world is changing and baseball needs Change accordingly.”

Perhaps LaSorda’s most profound legacy is the way he changed his role as a manager. Although Alstom may be out of reach, LaSorda is an unabashed cheerleader for his players, creating an environment where young players flourish and inspiring as few players as possible.

LaSorda’s masterpiece is the 1988 World Series, and the majestic Oakland track and field competition. The Dodgers stole the first game in a fascinating home run by Kirk Gibson, and pitcher Orel Hershiser won twice. But in Game 4, their other victory was all Lasorda, whose patchwork lineup had fewer home runs than Oakland’s Jose Canseco himself.

In the NBC pre-game show, Bob Costas praised the Dodgers’ pitching, but called their lineup “one of the weakest teams ever to compete in the World Series.” Lasorda, who was watching in the clubhouse, shattered the wall with resentment.

“Did you hear what Costas was saying? He said that you are the worst offensive team ever!Mickey Hatcher, who finished third in super batting, said that he recalled Lasorda’s novels. “Oh, man, he is stirring it. Of course, when we went out to the game, the players yelled and Costas didn’t know what happened. But Tommy kept feeding everyone.”

Costas completed the pre-match performance with the help of the audience’s canoe, starting from the first base position on the grass. He stayed in the national anthem field and didn’t know that Lasorda had seen his analysis, let alone used it to rally the Dodgers.

“I’m standing next to Hershiser, Hershiser standing at the end of the line, with his heart on his head during the national anthem,” Costas said recently. “He looked down at his shoulder and walked out from the corner of his mouth,’Boy, Tommy really made the guys listen to what you said.’ I was taken aback, “What the hell is he talking about? “

“Then they won, and Lasorda then collaborated a lot with Marv Albert on TV. And he kept blinking at me!”

That night, the Dodgers gave up softball and marked a run on a pass, a turnover and two ground balls. They won the championship after one game, and when they finally regained the championship, finally, their biggest fan was there.

“The most important thing about Tommy is his passion and love for games,” Claire said. “This is what drives him. This is what enables him to play professional baseball. This is something he had when he was young. This is something he has never lost.”


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