Tommy Lasorda is regarded by many as baseball’s most popular ambassador. It takes a sharp eye and special kind of aptitude to find talent and turn it into something. In baseball, no one has been better at that than Tommy Lasorda.
His longevity with the Los Angeles Dodgers is a testament to the important role he played in making them one of the best teams in professional baseball. Lasorda has worked for the Dodger organization for more than 50 years, serving as manager for 20 seasons. He retired from the job of manager in 1996 with an impressive record of 1,599 1,439, two World Series victories, four National League pennants and eight division titles.
In his current position as Vice President, the ever-young Lasorda has, in a sense, returned to his roots in the organization by scouting, evaluating and teaching minor league players. He worked as an up and coming coach in the Dodger organization for years. An astounding 75 players he managed in the minor leagues went on to play in the majors.
In 1997, Lasorda was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in just his first year of eligibility. He is also the winner of several Manager of the Year Awards. In August 1997, the Dodgers retired Lasorda’s 2 uniform.
At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Tommy Lasorda managed the United States to its first ever gold medal in baseball.
Outside of his current front office position, the tireless Lasorda spends time spreading baseball goodwill to thousands as he makes more than 100 speeches and appearances to various charities, youth organizations, private groups and military personnel each year. Lasorda has also been a spokesperson for the American Heart Association and has received honorary doctorate degrees from Pepperdine University, St. Thomas University and the University of Phoenix.