Tommy La sorda , regarded by many as baseball's most popular ambassador, will begin his 52 nd season in the Dodger organization and fifth as Vice President. He was named Vice President on July 29, 1996 after retiring as manager, a position he held for the previous 20 seasons. Lasorda spends much of his time scouting, evaluating and teaching minor league players as well as spreading baseball goodwill to thousands as he makes more than 100 speeches and appearances to various charities, private groups and military personnel each year.
In 1997, Lasorda was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in his first year of eligibility. He has won numerous awards throughout his career, including being named Minor League Manager of the Year by The Sporting News in 1970, Manager of the Year by UPI and AP in 1977, Manager of the Year by AP in 1981 and N L. Manager of the Year by Baseball America and Co-Manager of the Year by The Sporting News in 1988. He was the recipient of the Association of Professional Baseball Players of America's inaugural Milton Richman Memorial Award with Sparky Anderson in 1987, the BBWAA Philadelphia Chapter's Humanitarian Award in 1993, Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce's Award of Merit in 1997, Touchdown Club of Columbus' Baseball Ambassador of the Year in 1997, Arete's Courage in Sports Award in 1997 and was honored by the President of the Dominican Republic in 1997 for his dedication to the game of baseball throughout his career.
Lasorda compiled a 1,599-1,439 record and won two World Championships, four N.L. pennants and eight division titles in an extraordinary 20-year career as the Dodgers manager. He ranks 13th with 1,599 wins and 12th with 3,038 games managed in major league history. Lasorda's 16 wins in 30 N.L. Championship Series games managed were the most of any manager at the time of his retirement in 1996. As a player, Lasorda compiled a 0-4 record and 6.52 ERA as a left-handed pitcher in parts of three major league seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1954-55) and Kansas City Athletics (1956). In all, he spent 16 seasons in the minor leagues from 1945-60, including a two-year stint in the military from 1946-47. Lasorda has been a spokesperson for the American Heart Association and has received honorary doctorate degrees from Pepperdine University, St. Thomas University and the University of Phoenix. Lasorda and his wife Jo reside in Fullerton, CA. They will celebrate their 51 st wedding anniversary on April 14 th , 2001. The couple renamed a gymnasium and youth center in memory of their son Tom Jr. in Yorba Linda, CA on Sept 7, 1997.
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