“What’s Your Name Kid?” : Remembering Dodgers Icon, Tommy Lasorda By Jack O’Hara
Tommy Lasorda has died at the age of 93. He spent the majority of his life in Dodger blue, as he spent more than 70 years as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and happened to be one of the few remaining links to the club’s Brooklyn roots.
Over the last seven decades, Mr. Lasorda has accomplished a great deal of success, including leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to 2 World Series championships in 1981 & 1988 as manager. These 2 world titles, of course, were the last 2 the Dodgers organization had won prior to this last season, when Dave Roberts led the Dodgers to the promised land in 2020, with a 6 game series win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Mr. Lasorda was famous for his colorful personality and outspoken opinions regarding players and other personnel in the game of baseball, including the likes of Dave Kingman and Kurt Bevacqua, and also was overheard during the conclusion of the 2018 National League Championship Series, telling current Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts that “You haven’t done sh*t until you win the World Series”.
Well, this past season, the Dodgers won their 7th World Series title in franchise history, allowing the longest-living baseball hall of famer in history to die a champion.
As an aspiring young journalist and baseball fanatic, I have been able to meet some of my childhood heroes throughout my childhood, such as shaking hands with Yankees legend, Yogi Berra at his museum in Montclair, NJ in 2011 as a 12-year old kid.
Fast forward to 2018, I am working in Ballpark Operations with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during Spring Training in Tempe, AZ, and I am called upon to ride in a golf cart to escort a fan out of the stadium during an exhibition matchup between the Angels and the Dodgers.
Little did I know, That I’d be picking up a living-icon in Tommy Lasorda, who seemed eager to leave a packed ballpark of nearly 20,000 people. As a member of the Los Angeles Angels’ operations team, my co-workers and I were instructed not to talk to Mr. Lasorda, as the plan was to not disturb him on his way out of the ballpark and into the parking lot.
Despite being given direct orders to keep our mouths shut, Mr. Lasorda proceeded to ask us our names and what we did at the ballpark.
“What’s your name, kid?” He proceeded to ask me, as well as everyone else along for the ride. It was a cool moment for me as a (then) freshman in college, looking to get a foot in the door in sports. As little of a moment that it was, it was a star-striking moment for me, to know that a living-legend like Tommy Lasorda still went out of his way to appreciate everyone that had a job to do, even if just driving a golf cart.
Despite having little conversation with the hall of famer, Mr. Lasorda thanked us all as he was escorted off the golf cart.
“Thanks Jack”. Thank you, Mr. Lasorda, rest in power, and go Dodgers.