• lelanikroeker

We will never forget Tommy!


Last week saw the passing of an LA legend and not-close friend of mine, Tommy Lasorda. I call him a friend because everyone in LA is a friend of Tommy’s. Everyone who loves baseball is a friend of Tommy’s. Tommy touched me several times, and each episode was a lifelong gift that I will never forget.

Everyone who grew up watching the movie Fletch needs their own “I hate Tommy Lasorda” photo to hang on the wall of their office. I got mine while launching the LA Register in 2014.

Tommy’s post-managerial job with the Dodgers was expressly to shake hands and kiss babies. You can see here how good at it he was, even with Phillies fans like my kids. In fact, Tommy remembered me because we are both from the Philly area.

The same day I met Tommy at Dodgers stadium, I invited him to a 5pm LA Register launch party in Downtown LA. I told him Kareem was coming, and to my great surprise he showed up and provided me with one of my all-time favorite photos.

My favorite story that Tommy loved to tell was how some “bonus baby” lefty took his roster spot, even though the guy couldn’t hit the side of a barn with his fastball. This caused Tommy to quit playing and began his Hall of Fame managerial career. Sandy Koufax learned how to control his fastball.

I will miss looking for Tommy when I go to Dodgers games, but I will always remember his kind heart, his generous smile, and his stories. Rest in peace, Tommy.

Your spirit remains. You and your Dodgers are champions.

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