Tommy Lasorda Receives Lifetime Achievement Award At 17th Annual L.A. Sports Awards

Tommy Lasorda was named the recipient of the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award during the 17th annual Los Angeles Sports Awards. Laura Lasorda, daughter of the late Los Angeles Dodgers manager, received the award on his behalf.

“Speaking on behalf of my family, it’s an honor for my father to be named with this Lifetime Achievement award. He is among very distinguished company. There is no one who loves sports, L.A. sports, especially baseball, the Dodgers and City of Angels as much as he did,” Laura said in a recorded video message.

“He loved his heritage, he loved his community and he loved the people — young and old, from every walk of life who make up this city. He was proud of every sports teams’ accomplishments. He always said L.A. had the best sports fans in the whole wide world, and he was never shy about saying it. He could connect with anyone.

“I think he did a wonderful job representing Los Angeles and baseball wherever and whenever he was traveling. I wish he were here with us today. He would be very proud. So today I graciously thank the Los Angeles Sports Council for this lovely award and tribute with great appreciation. Thank you for remembering him.”

Tommy Lasorda passed away in January 2021 at the age of 93. He spent more than seven decades in the Dodgers organization, first joining it after being selected from the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1948 Minor League Draft.

Lasorda had three stints with the Brooklyn Dodgers as a player and made his MLB debut in 1954. Over parts of two big league seasons with the Dodgers, he pitched to a 7.62 ERA across eight games. Lasorda also spent time with the Kansas City Athletics in 1956.

He famously was optioned as a corresponding move to the Dodgers calling up Sandy Koufax. After retiring in 1960, Lasorda rejoined the Dodgers organization as a scout, a position he would hold from 1961-65.

Lasorda went on to become a Minor League manager and third base coach for the Dodgers under skipper Walt Alston. Alston abruptly announced his retirement in September 1976, paving the way for Lasorda’s promotion to Dodgers manager.

In his two decades as manager, Lasorda compiled a 1,599-1,439 record, leading the franchise to eight National League West division titles, four NL pennants and two World Series championships (1981, 1988).

“Tommy Lasorda getting the Lifetime Achievement Award is a no-brainer. It’s certainly well deserved,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.

“As an ambassador of baseball on a global scale, as an ambassador for the Dodgers on a more local and personal — which ultimately ended up being a global scale. Blue Heaven on Earth, coined by Tommy Lasorda. Bleeding Blue, coined by Tommy Lasorda. I don’t think there’s ever been a person that’s walked the Earth that has loved the Dodgers and city of Los Angeles more than Tommy Lasorda has.

“All his work on the field, his love for the fans and family off the field, making people around him better and happier, and he always had joy and time for people. We all know he loved to eat, loved to coach and loved to have fun. But the thing is you knew that when you came across Tommy Lasorda, he made you better and he made you love the Dodgers.

“For the family, Lifetime Achievement Award, it just couldn’t be more fitting.”

Best Tommy Lasorda quotes

“There are three kinds of people in this world: people who make it happen, people who watch what happens, and people who wonder what happened.”

“Listen, if you start worrying about the people in the stands, before too long you’re up in the stands with them.”

“No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are, you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.”

“Say ‘Dodgers,’ and people know you’re talking about baseball. Say ‘Braves,’ and they ask, ‘What reservation?’ Say ‘Reds,’ and they think of communism. Say ‘Padres,’ and they look around for a priest.”

“I believe managing is like holding a dove in your hand. If you hold it too tightly you kill it, but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it.”

“The only Angels in Los Angeles are in heaven, and they’re looking down on the Dodgers.”

“Nobody thought we could win the division! Nobody thought we could beat the mighty Mets! Nobody thought we could beat the team that won 104 games! But we believed it!”

“The best possible thing in baseball is winning the World Series. The second best thing is losing the World Series.”

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.”

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