Our Commodore of the Fleet is Tommy Lasorda, Major League Baseball player and manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Thomas Charles Lasorda was born Sept. 22, 1927 in Norristown, Pa. He got his start in pro-baseball at the age of 18 as a southpaw pitcher when he signed with the Phillies in 1945, then served two years in the military. In 1948, he returned to the baseball scene with the Schenectady Blue Jays as a minor league pitcher and on May 31, 1948, set a Canadian-American League record by striking out 25 batters in a 15-inning game.
Lasorda made his major league debut on Aug. 5, 1954 with the Dodgers. He played for the Dodgers for two seasons before being traded to the Kansas City Athletics, where he pitched for one season. After the 1960 season, Lasorda ended his playing career in pro ball and became a scout for the Dodgers until 1965. He managed in the minor leagues from 1966-72, and in 1973 Tommy became a third base coach for the L.A. Dodgers.
Lasorda became the Los Angeles Dodgers manager September 29, 1976, upon Alston’s retirement. He compiled a 1,599–1,439 record as Dodgers manager, won two World Series championships in 1981 and 1988, four National League pennants, and eight division titles in his 20-year career as the Dodgers manager.
His 16 wins in 30 NL Championship games managed were the most of any manager at the time of his retirement. His 61 postseason games managed ranks fourth all-time. He also managed in four All-Star games.
Tommy Lasorda was named Vice-President of the Dodgers upon his retirement from managing in 1996. In 1998 he became the Dodgers interim General Manager, resigned after the season and was appointed as Senior Vice-President of the Dodgers. After the sale of the team to Frank McCourt, Lasorda took on his current position of Special Advisor to the Chairman where his responsibilities include scouting, evaluating and teaching minor league players, acting as an advisor and ambassador for the Dodgers’ international affiliations, and representing the organization at speaking engagements and appearances.
He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 as a manager in his first year of eligibility. The Dodgers retired his uniform number (2) on August 15, 1997 and renamed a street in Dodgertown as “Tommy Lasorda Lane”. In 2014, a new restaurant named “Lasorda’s Trattoria” opened at Dodger Stadium.