When people say that Tommy Lasorda bleeds “Dodger Blue”, they are correct. Tommy has been with the Los Angeles Dodgers for more than 50 years, as a player, scout, minor league manager, Dodger coach, Dodger manager for 20 years, General Manager and current Vice President.
Lasorda was drafted into the Brooklyn Dodgers farm system and pitched in the minor leagues from 1949 to 1960. In 1954 and 1955, Tommy pitched briefly in the major leagues for the Dodgers. When he ended his playing career in 1960, Lasorda became a scout and managed Dodgers’ minor league teams from 1960 to 1973. He was promoted to third-base coach for the Dodgers in 1973. In 1976, Lasorda was named manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers–a position he held for the next 20 years. Tommy led the Dodgers to the league title in his first two years, 1977 and 1978, becoming only the second manager in National League history to accomplish such a feat. Lasorda led the team to a World Series Championship in 1981 and two National League West titles in 1983 and 1985. Tommy led the Dodgers to a World Series Championship one last time in 1988 and was named manager of the year. Lasorda retired as a manager in July 1996. His career with the Dodgers was not over, and he has gone on to become the Vice President and General Manager of the Dodgers organization.
Tommy has won numerous awards, including the 1970 Minor League Manager of the Year by the Sporting News and the 1988 National League Manager of the Year by Baseball America and Co-Manager of the Year by the Sporting News. Lasorda was named Manager of the Year by UPI in 1977 and by AP in 1977 and 1981. Together with Sparky Anderson, Lasorda was named recipient of the first Milton Richman Memorial Award by the Association of Professional Baseball Players of America in 1987. He also received the Humanitarian Award from the Philadelphia BBWAA chapter in January, 1993. Tommy was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.
Lasorda returned to managing in 2000, when he led the U.S. Olympic Baseball Team to a gold medal in Sydney.
A few career highlights:
• Managed LA Dodgers to 4 World Series, capturing 2 World Championships (1981 & 1988)
• Retired as manager of the LA Dodgers in 1996 with 1,599 regular-season wins in 21 seasons
• Currently General Manager of the Dodgers (1998-present)
• Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
• Managed the U.S. Olympic baseball team to a Gold Metallist 2000 Olympics in Sydney