Along with Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson and Vin Scully, Tommy Lasorda is among the most recognizable figures in Los Angeles Dodgers history.
Lasorda has spent nearly seven decades with the organization in some capacity, serving as a player, scout, coach, manager, executive and ambassador at various points.
The Hall-of-Famer’s impact on the Dodgers over the years is second to none, and multiple players on the 40-man roster have taken notice.
“Obviously there’s the accomplishments and accolades and World Series, things like that. Just the fact that he’s around and still here, I think is pretty indicative of what the culture is around the Los Angeles Dodgers. Coming up as a young guy, it’s kind of a cool deal getting to hang around Tommy Lasorda. Then you get to know him and it gets even cooler.”
Justin Turner additionally offered high praise for Lasorda, deeming him one of the most important figures in Dodgers history:
“When you think about the Dodgers, there’s a handful of people that pop into your mind that represent this organization. I think Tommy is at the top of that list. Just a great baseball guy, great baseball mind, unbelievable motivator and a guy that’s in this clubhouse every single day when we’re at home. And he goes on the road with us, he is around talking to guys, motivating guys, inspiring guys, he’s just the ultimate definition of a Dodger.”
After a brief stint with the Philadelphia Phillies, Lasorda was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1949. He made his MLB debut five years later, accumulating eight combined appearances for the organization from 1954-55.
Lasorda most notably spent two decades managing the Dodgers and proved to be a worthwhile successor to Walter Alston. From 1976-96, Lasorda posted a 1,599-1,439-2 record, won eight National League West titles, four pennants and two World Series.
After retiring at the midway point of the 1996 season, Lasorda transitioned into a role as Dodgers vice president. His No. 2 jersey was retired during an on-field ceremony at Dodger Stadium in 1997. Later that year, Lasorda was additionally inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Lasorda has maintained close ties with the organization ever since and can be found at most home games over the course of a season.