When I came to Los Angeles in 1963 as a scout for the Dodgers, the first speech I had to make was at the Huntington Hartford Hotel, which is now known as the Ritz in Pasadena.
It was a dinner like the one I attended last night, where eagle scouts would write a letter to a person in the profession they were pursuing, and in turn that professional would escort them to the dinner and act as a mentor.
I was a nervous wreck. The first speaker on stage was a retired admiral in the U.S. Navy. They read his bio about graduating from Annapolis and leading fleets throughout the world.
The next speaker was a judge who graduated from Yale and enjoyed a successful legal career before joining the bench.
I was next, and all that was said abut me was, “And now, our featured speaker of the night, Tom Lasorda, a scout for the Dodgers.”
Needles to say I didn’t get the same reception that the previous two speakers enjoyed, but when I got up on stage, I immediately grabbed their attention by reciting the Scout Oath and the Scout Laws.
I got a standing ovation, and from that point I had their attention.
Well, I did the same thing last night and it seemed to work well.
I can honestly say that without the training I got from being a boy scout 67 years ago, I would not be the man I am today.