This Day In Dodgers History: Tommy Lasorda Elected Into Baseball Hall Of Fame

On March 5, 1997, the Veterans Committee elected Tommy Lasorda into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with Nellie Fox and Negro League star Willie Wells. They joined Phil Niekro, who had been voted in two months earlier by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The recognition came just under one year after Lasorda retired as Los Angeles Dodgers manager due to medical reasons. He was succeeded by Bill Russell, who remained interim manager for the remainder of the 1996 season.

While famously known as the player the Dodgers optioned to the Minor Leagues in order to sign Sandy Koufax, Lasorda carved out a successful managerial tenure.

Although his career began with the Philadelphia Phillies as an 18-year-old pitcher, Lasorda spent 47 years with the Dodgers organization as a player, scout, coach or manager. He finished a lifetime 1,599-1,439, was twice named Manager of the Year, won eight National League West titles, four pennants and two World Series.

During Lasorda’s 20 years as skipper, there were 185 managerial changes throughout Major League Baseball. Lasorda joined Connie Mack, John McGraw and Walter Alston as the only managers in MLB history to reach a 20th season with a single team.

After retiring as manager, Lasorda transitioned into a role as vice president and maintained close ties and an active presence with the Dodgers until passing away in January 2021. Lasorda’s death came months after he traveled to Texas to watch the Dodgers win the 2020 World Series.

Tommy Lasorda Memorial Highway

One day prior to the anniversary of the late manager being inducted into the Hall of Fame was the formal dedication of the Tommy Lasorda Memorial Highway in 2023.

A special ceremony was held in conjunction with Opening Day for the West Fullerton Little League.

California legislature passed ACR 67 in 2021, which was a bill authored by Los Angeles and Orange County representative Assemblymember Sharon Quirk-Silva (D — Fullerton).

The specific stretch is in Fullerton, where Lasorda made his home, with a Tommy Lasorda Memorial Highway sign located on Southbound I-5 before Lincoln Avenue and Northbound I-5 before Ball Road.

The dedication ceremony featured Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva, Tommy Lasorda’s daughter Laura, along with Eric Karros.

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