Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame

Being selected to be in the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame is a great honor Spokane_3 for me.  I managed the Spokane Indians from 1969-71, and the Albuquerque Dukes in 1972.  Some of my best memories are from that period of my career, as my players and I had fun on, and off, the field.  I am the first manager to be inducted into the PCL Hall of Fame in over 50 years, and it?s an honor because of the history of the PCL, but also because it is a reflection of the contribution of my players.

As manager, you live and die on wins.  The problem is, I never got a hit, I never struck anyone out.  My players did that, and they are really responsible for my wins.  Luckily for me, I had some really good players.  As manager, my job was to take those young players and make them better.  I had to show them what it would take to get to Dodger Stadium.  We would work on the fundamentals of baseball all day long.  I?ll tell you one thing; when a player left me and went to the big leagues, you can bet he knew how to play the game of baseball.  I would throw my guys endless hours of batting practice, hurling curveball after curveball until they saw them in their sleep.

It is a documented fact that in my eight years of managing in the minor leagues, 75 players left me and went on to play big league baseball.  When I became the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977, 23 of the 25 players on that roster were Dodger products, many of whom played for me in either Spokane or Albuquerque.  I?m talking about guys like Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, Bobby Valentine, Davy Lopes, Von Joshua, Charlie Hough.  And the list goes on and on.  Those guys knew what a privilege it was to be a major league baseball player, and what a privilege it was to wear the Dodger Uniform.

This honor marks the sixth hall of fame in which I am enshrined.  I have a place in Cooperstown in the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago, the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame, the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame and this June I will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.  All of them represent a special time in my life, as does this induction.  On May 19th, Branch Rickey, the President of the PCL, will present my Hall of Fame plaque to me in a pre-game ceremony here at beautiful Dodger Stadium, which I like to call Blue Heaven on Earth.  I hope you can be here to join me in the celebration.

10 Comments

congradulations Tommy! who was you’re favorite player in the Minors that never made it to the bigs?

Great for you Tommy !! I have been a Dodger Fan a loooong time (I’m now 62). Just wish that I would have gotten by book back that I sent to you in ’88 when you and the guys wqon the big one.

Hey Tommy: So, What?s Up With These Dodgers?

Playing Dodger baseball must be like giving speeches in Las Vegas.

There?s one distraction after another, so how can you stay focused on the task in front of you?

Hollywood, with all of its glamour and enticements, beckons. The weather is stupendous, and has been known to be so intoxicating that it has beguiled top-ranked college quarterbacks into ditching squad workouts in favor of surfing.

Sure, there is the occasional player like Jeff Kent, who eschews the local temptations and stoically soldiers his way through season after season. But he?s unusual.

Dodgerland is a magnet for the flamboyant and eccentric, for people like Gary Sheffield, a true Drama King, for bad drivers like Raul Mondesi, and for sourpusses like Kevin Brown.

A Teflon team, nothing seems to stick around for very long, victories included.

Once more, in 2006, the Blue Crew seems set on finishing third or fourth in a still-mediocre division, despite the fact that it has a big payroll, a new GM and Manager.

Certainly, injuries are playing a role, with closer Gagne ailing. But there is something missing that makes a fan still sigh despite the off-season signings of nearly an entirely new infield, and some new pitchers.

Call it soul or savvy or fire in the belly, or all of the above; the Dodgers, for years now, have been missing it.

So, you can?t blame any particular owner, or manager, or set of players. Like an earth without molten magma at its core, the Dodgers are dwelling in a dead zone.

I don?t know if there?s an easy fix, or any fix, for that matter.

Tommy Lasorda might know something, and though he?s a great gabber, he?s silent on this topic.

Someone should buddy up to this guy, maybe after a nice meal, and ask: ?So, what?s up with this team??

Like a custodian at an institution, he might know something profound that others have missed. And if it has something to do with a Brooklyn soul, perhaps he can tip us off about waking it up from its long and deep sleep.

Good one Tommy, you deserve every one of those!

Keep up the great work here on your MLBlog, I’ve enjoyed every one of them!

Congratulations on making it to the PCL Hall of Fame!

I’m a huge Dodger fan and just started an MLBlog myself at http://dodgerdaily.mlblog.com – if you ever read your comments feel free to check it out and let me know what you think.

Go Dodgers!

tommy,

sad to say this is one dodger fan that is no longer a fan of you. after numerous reports from friends that your arrogant, stubborn or just downright cranky i witnessed it firsthand today. tommy you’re no better than anyone else so stop acting like your the second coming of christ! shame on you tommy!

Tommy, I agree with “Johnsaunders7″, you do act like you are the second coming.
You are desplaying an arrogant attitude and it is wearing thin.

I’m tired of you “brown nosing” McCourt;McCourt, I feel,has a “hidden agenda” and by your attitude, you show what ever it is you want to be a part of it.

Please don’t lower yourself any lower,ok?

You pathetic Lasorda bashers need to grow up, quit being such pathetic little punks, and get a life! You both have “hidden agendas”, but it’s not so hidden_ you are both idiots!

Tommy,
My grandfather was the PBP guy for the old Ogden Dodgers of the Pioneer League and spokde very highly of you. There are a lot of people around Ogden, Utah that hold you in the highest regard. Maybe you could share with us some of your stories and impressions from Ogden, Utah, where you used to manage.

Congratulatoins Tommy, you deserve it. You are an incredible ambassador to the game we all love.

Lance

NashuaDodgers@comcast.net

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