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What do I anticipate about Tommy Lasorda’s passing? I’ll acquaint you what I anticipate about Tommy Lasorda’s passing. It’s a arrant shame, but the guy couldn’t hit baptize if he fell out of a boat.
Oh, the action that man gave us for over 50 years with his X-rated rants on bums hitting .200 who got advantageous and exhausted the Dodgers. Side-splitting laughs, tears rolling bottomward your face laughs. I’d accord you a couple, but I’d get fired. There’s affluence of PG-rated stories, though. https://embed.sendtonews.com/oembed/?fk=bRolOyFR&cid=8151&sound=off&format=json&offsetx=0&offsety=0&floatwidth=400&floatposition=bottom-right&float=on
Lasorda active in the rain alone, backward for a cable TV appearance he’s declared to do in Long Beach, so he pulls into the design lane. A CHP administrator pulls him over, acquainted Tommy as he formed bottomward his window.
“Where you going, Tommy?” the administrator asked. Lasorda told him. The administrator didn’t address him a $350 ticket, he gave Tommy a claimed escort to the TV station, and got him there on time. Tommy gave him an autograph and alleged it even.
Everybody admired Tommy, alike the umps who generally laughed abaft their masks aback he waddled out of the dugout to bang clay on home plate, while cogent them about this abundant Italian restaurant he and Jo had banquet at the added night.
He wasn’t mad, he aloof capital his players to see him continuing up for them on a abutting call. If the umps took a affection to him for it, all the bigger for the Dodgers.
There’s the shrewd, business Lasorda continuing in the third-base coaches box during the 1974 World Series, breaking new arena in sport’s marketing. He was cutting a Mizuno baseball block on his appropriate foot, and an Adidas on his left.
It was a time aback all the sports companies capital to get their logos out there, so Tommy active a accord with both companies to abrasion their cleats. He never said he’d abrasion both cleats of one aggregation at the aforementioned time.
There’s Lasorda the motivator, giving a pep allocution to 50 Realtors in the Valley at a new apartment development in the morning – accepting them answerable up to go out and advertise hard. In the afternoon, he gave the aforementioned pep allocution to 100 Northridge Little Leaguers to go out and comedy hard.
A army of one was a pep allocution to Tommy.
And, there was the compassionate Lasorda calling a longtime Dodger fan on auberge at midnight to say goodbye. He didn’t apperceive 91-year-old Clifford Rich, but it didn’t matter. The Granada Hills above badge administrator bled Dodger Blue, that was acceptable abundant for Tommy.
Cliff had generally told his wife, Mary, he’d accord a week’s pay to sit bottomward and accept a cup of coffee with Lasorda, acquaint him how he’d epitomize those old Brooklyn Dodger amateur in his apperception to accumulate his acumen as aberration raged all about him affronted Omaha Beach on D-Day and angry at the Battle of the Bulge – a afraid 18-year-old kid award ambush aback at Ebbets Field.
Was there a way I could ability Tommy, a acquaintance of Cliff’s asked? Can he accord Cliff a call? But, please, accomplish it soon, if you can. He was crumbling fast.
It was advancing midnight aback the buzz rang at Cliff’s bedside. Mary answered, listened to the accustomed articulation on the added end, and put the buzz to her husband’s ear.
“Hi, Clifford, this is Tommy Lasorda. They acquaint me you are a absolute Dodger fan – the top one, and I’m accustomed to be talking to you tonight.”
For the aboriginal time in months, Cliff confused his lips, aggravating to talk, but annihilation came out. He knew, though. This was his cup of coffee with Tommy Lasorda.
Cliff died two hours afterwards that call. Aback I told Tommy the abutting morning, he was speechless, a attenuate affair for a man who consistently had article to say. He was shook.
Of all the Lasordas, the one I’ll absence the best is the admirers Lasorda. They never larboard him aback his canicule on the acreage were over. They backward with him as he got old and his affection began to fail.
Every home game, Tommy’s disciplinarian would cull the boondocks car the Dodger’s beatific for him as abutting to the Stadium Club access as accessible so he didn’t accept to airing so far. The aftermost brace of seasons he’s had to use a wheelchair.
The admirers would be cat-and-mouse for him. “Hey, Tommy, how you feeling?” “Hey, Tommy, how’s the family?” “Hey, Tommy, can I get an autograph?” Tommy never said no.
If there were kids in the crowd, he’d draw them near, and accord them a pep talk. He never rushed, he took his time. These kids were baseball’s future, he was its past.
And, what a august accomplished Tommy Lasorda was for this city.
Dennis McCarthy’s cavalcade runs on Sunday. He can be accomplished at [email protected]
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