A memory from my days managing in the Rookie League:

Bill Buckner

Here is my story that aired on KABC 790 as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:

When I managed in the Rookie League I did a lot of strange things.  For example, I got Billy Buckner and I told him to go inside and get some stationary and pen.

“What for?” he asked.

“Just do what I tell you!”

He came out with the stationary and pen.  I told him he was going to write a letter, and it would go like this:

Dear Wes,

You don’t know who I am.  My name is Bill Buckner.  I play for Tommy Lasorda up here in Ogden, Utah.  Tommy tells me you are a good friend of his.  And this is why I am writing this letter, to tell you I’m coming to take your job. 

“Why do that?” Buckner said.

I told him that when Parker gets the letter he is going to want to know who you are, and he is going to look at the batting averages in the Sporting News. He is going to find out that you’re hitting .390, and he is going to start worrying.

Buckner took Parker’s Job.

Garvey wrote a letter to the third baseman.

Valentine wrote a letter to the short stop.

In the eight years I managed in the minor leagues, 75 players left me and went to play in the big leagues.  I wanted to instill self confidence in my players, and I wanted them to believe they would play at Dodger Stadium.

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