Today has been filled with many baseball fans mourning the death of Los Angeles Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda. As a pitcher, a manager, then later a vice president, Lasorda notched over 50 years with the Dodgers under his belt.
The legend was beloved by the Dodger nation and throughout Major League Baseball. In his time with the league, he led some incredible teams and created some unforgettable memories for his teammates, players, and fans.
Tommy Lasorda has Beef with Mascots
Some of those memories are slightly more comical than the rest. For instance, on a couple of different occasions, Tommy Lasorda had some beef with opposing teams’ mascots. At one point, he had the Montreal Expos mascot, Youppi, kicked out of the game for making mischief on top of the Dodgers’ dugout.
With this ejection, Youppi became the first-ever mascot to be thrown out of an MLB game. Much to the fans’ dismay, security removed Youppi from the ballpark at Lasorda’s request.
On another hilarious occasion, Tommy Lasorda actually got into a physical altercation with the Philadelphia Phillies Phanatic.
This episode, which featured an ATV, a Dodgers mannequin, and a Phillies Phanatic, resulted in a full-on wrestling match. The Phanatic mocked Lasorda with the overweight Dodgers mannequin, and later by puffing out his stomach. This provoked an all-out attack from the legendary Dodgers manager.
The Phillies Phanatic learned the hard way that Lasorda is no one to mess with. “That’s the quickest Tommy’s moved all year,” one of the announcers joked. “We got to mark that down. The fastest Tommy Lasorda moved in 1988 was after the Phillie Phanatic.”
However, the Los Angeles Dodgers actually went on to win the World Series the same year Tommy Lasorda attacked the Philadelphia mascot. That was his second World Series win. He won his first world series with the Dodgers in 1981.
Remembering his Legendary Career
Tommy Lasorda started his long career in Major League Baseball as a pitcher back in 1945. His career as a player was rather tumultuous, sending him all around the major and minor league.
In fact, he only started one game for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1950. In that game, the manager removed him in the first inning after throwing a record three wild pitches in one inning. He returned to the Dodgers in 1957 but did not start any games in the majors.
After his retirement as a player, Tommy Lasorda began his managerial career. His managerial career turned out to be much more successful than his playing career. He started in the minors with the Dodgers and jumped around a little bit before landing the job as the Dodgers third-base coach.
Eventually, the Dodgers organization promoted him to the manager of the team. In his long career as a manager, he accrued an impressive 1,599–1,439 record before his retirement in 1996. He also made it to four world series with the Dodgers, winning two of them in 1981 and 1988.
After his retirement, Tommy Lasorda took on the role of Dodgers Vice President. When it was all said and done, Lasorda had spent seven decades with the Dodgers organization. He died earlier today from cardiac arrest at 93 years old.