Hall of Famers

Tommy Lasorda MGR 2

Norristown, PA
Fullerton, CA
Years with Dodgers:
Inducted into Hall of Fame:

The affable ambassador of the Dodgers, Tommy Lasorda was appointed Manager of Los Angeles by the O’Malley family on September 29, 1976. Lasorda had spent four years on the major league coaching staff for Walter Alston, before succeeding him with four games remaining in the 1976 season. When asked if he felt pressure about following in the footsteps of future Hall of Fame Manager Alston, Lasorda replied, “I’m just worried about the guy who’s gonna replace me! You see, if I am so concerned about following Alston, I would be afraid of failure. But, if I concentrate on who follows me, then I will have to succeed.” Succeed he did, as Lasorda immediately brought back-to-back National League Pennants to the Dodgers in 1977 and 1978 (Walter O’Malley’s last full season as Chairman of the Board). Lasorda won 1,599 games (which at the start of the 2024 season ranked 23rd all-time) in his 20-year career, captured two World Series Championships — in 1981 and 1988 — and was the 14th manager to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.

The gregarious bleeder of Dodger blue, Lasorda became an icon affixed to the organization, beloved by fans of all ages. He won eight N.L. Division titles and four Pennants. His favorite place to play was at Dodger Stadium, or what he called “Blue Heaven on Earth.” As with Alston before him, O’Malley signed Lasorda to a series of one-year contracts. The skills of Alston and Lasorda — what turned out to be two managers in 43 seasons — contributed to the stability of the Dodgers during the O’Malley era. A southpaw pitcher with a good curveball, Lasorda went 0-4 in his big league career and had the distinction of being moved off the 1955 Brooklyn Dodger team roster to make room for bonus baby and future Hall of Fame pitcher, Sandy Koufax. “It took the greatest left-hander in the history of the game to knock me off that Brooklyn club,” said Lasorda. “And now that he’s in the Hall of Fame, I still think they made a mistake!”

Former Dodger President Peter O’Malley said upon Tommy’s January 7, 2021 passing:
“It is not his love of life, his love of a good pasta dinner, his love of friends, his love of baseball. It is the support and encouragement he gave our young players. And that was constant throughout his life. … He was committed to players. He was committed to the organization. He was committed to the city. He was committed to the fans. His commitment — he was all in, and everything he did, he did nothing at all 90%.”