“The difference between the impossible & the possible lies in a person’s determination.”Tommy Lasorda
Tommy Lasorda died last week at age 93. Lasorda managed the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1976-1996. During his tenure, the Dodgers won eight National League West titles, four Pennants & two World Championships! Lasorda twice was named National League Manager of the Year. Tommy Lasorda was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. He managed again in 2000, when he led the United States Olympic Baseball Team to a Gold Medal in the Sydney Olympics.
Tommy Lasorda pitched briefly in the Major Leagues however he left an incredible mark as a manager! Lasorda’s greatest strength as a manager was as a master motivator! Here is an illustration: Tommy John pitched very poorly one day in Atlanta and then “carried on” in the Dodger Clubhouse. John expected to be “aired out” by Lasorda. Instead, Lasorda said to John, “Tommy, you’re going to have a great year! And we’re going to win this thing (National League Pennant)”. John left Lasorda’s office feeling “10 feet tall”. John had the best year of his career and the Dodgers won the National League Pennant!
Tommy Lasorda briefly played for Ralph Houk in Triple-A Denver and said that Houk influenced Lasorda’s managerial style. Lasorda constantly encouraged his players and treated them with respect. Tommy Lasorda also was a great ambassador for both the Dodgers and for Baseball. His enthusiasm was infectious and it was genuine!