For a full account of my lecture at the Smithsonian please log on to a blog operated by three lovely ladies who are fans of the Washington Nationals. They were nice enough to bake me homemade cookies.
My next stop on the book tour is Philadelphia. I will be interviewed by Larry Platt at the Philadelphia Free Library at noon tomorrow, and then on Saturday I will be signing books at the Devon Barnes and Noble at 7 p.m.
Before Game 4 of the 1988 World Series I got the news that Mike Marshall couldn?t play because of a headache. I couldn?t believe my ears. This guy wasn?t going to play in the biggest game of his life because of a headache?
I decided at that point that we had to have a team meeting and get few things straightened out. I was gathering my players together and I don?t know what possessed me to do it but I turned on the TV while I was waiting for the players.
The pre game show was on, and when the players got together I really gave them a good ripping, and Mike Marshall was sitting in the middle of the circle.
I said, ?How can you tell me you can?t play in the World Series because of a headache?!?
I decided that I had to reinforce that we are going to win as a team no matter who played. I said, ?The fate of our ball club does not depend on one man. We are going to win with or without Mike Marshall.?
Just at that point a couple players interrupted me and pointed to the TV. It was Bob Costas standing on the field talking about us. Bob said that we were fielding the worst lineup in World Series history!
All I said was, ?Can you guys believe that??
I continued, ?Are you going to let him say that about you? What are you going to do about it??
That was all the motivation we needed. As my guys ran out of the locker room and on to the field they passed Bob and were hollering all sorts of curses.
Tim Belcher won that game 4-3 and we went on to win the series.
Tonight Bob is interviewing me at 92nd Street Y, which is a world renowned cultural center that holds numerous lectures of people who shape the world. I am honored to be invited.
Tomorrow I go to our Nation?s capitol. I speak at the Smithsonian at 7 p.m.
When Hall of Fame baseball coach Ron Maestri called me he said, "Tommy, every time I hear you talk you never fail to mention that we live in the greatest country in the world."
I said, "I sure do Ron."
He said, "Well then you definitely believe in the Constitution."
I said, "I sure do Ron."
He said, "Well then you definitely believe in free speech."
I said, "I sure do Ron."
He said, "Good, because you’re going to have to make one at the World War II Museum."
Last night I was the keynote speaker at the grand opening of an exhibit named "Duty, Honor, Country: When Baseball Went to War." This is a tremendous exhibit that documents the stories and sacrifices of the more than 4,000 athletes who served in the Armed Forces.
Joining me at the exhibit opening were Bob Feller, who served in the Navy, Johnny Pesky, who missed the 1943, ’44 and ’45 seasons fighting in WWII and Jerry "The Colonel" Coleman who was a Marine aviator in the Korean War.
I was drafted into the Army, and in fact I made the very last draft. It caused me to miss the 1946 and ’47 seasons, but it was an honor to serve my country.
Today I fly to New York and resume my book tour. I’ll be signing books at Barnes and Noble at Rockefeller Center on Monday, November 12 at 1 p.m. On Tuesday I’ll will be interviewed onstage by Bob Costas at 92nd Street Y at 8 p.m.
This morning I went to the Glendale Hilton to make a speech and receive an award. The breakfast was being held by the Disabled Veterans Alliance, and in attendance were about 400 Marines and soldiers who have just returned from Iraq, as well as disabled veterans. Those are my heroes. The men and women who so bravely risk their lives overseas for us, for our way of life and for our ideals.
The award was presented to me this year, but going forward is will be called the Tommy Lasorda Patriotism Award, and will be presented to a civilian who shows outstanding support to our troops and veterans. I am very honored and humbled to recieve this award. I want everybody to know that I will always support the Armed Forces. Nobody likes war, but we must do everything we can to support our troops.
Tonight I will speak at the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation dinner in Dallas. Bobby is turning 90 years old, and I can’t wait to ask him what was served at the Last Supper. All kidding aside, Bobby is a good man and a great friend, and it is an honor to be there with him. Earl Weaver is being honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is an award I have been honored with in the past. Also at the dinner will be Bobby Valentine, Lou Brock, Maury Wills, Dale Petroskey, **** Williams, Dan Jenkins and Dr. Bobby Brown.
At Last year’s dinner Willie Mays did something I have never seen before. He auctioned off all the clothes he was wearing: his suit, his wrist watch, his hat, everything. I think he raised about $25,000.
From Dallas I go to New Orleans for "When Baseball Went to War," an exhibit beginning today and running through March at the National World War II Museum. I’ll keep you updated about that speech tomorrow.
I want to make the fans aware that I will be signing copies of my new autobiography tonight at Barnes and Noble at the Grove. It starts at 7 p.m., and I hope you all come out and say hi.
Tomorrow, I will be signing books at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena at 7 p.m.
There is a chapter online right now so if you have a second read it and come out and let me know what you think. I hope all of you who buy the book enjoy reading it as mch as I enjoyed living it.
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