He was the chief of the Dodgers, but I was the skipper of this ship:
Here is my story that aired yesterday on 790 KABC as part of the Lasorda at His Best series presented by Skechers:
Every year they used to have this big dinner in Clearwater, Florida. They would auction off a lot of great things to help raise funds. So Al Campanis and I used to attend and speak and try to help in whatever way we could.
Red Fischer, the person in charge of the affair every year, pulled me to the side.
“We are going to auction off a yacht,” he told me. “I want you to get in the bidding, but don’t worry because I’ll have someone who will out-bid you at the end.”
That was fine with me, but I didn’t tell Campanis about the set-up.
The bidding for the yacht started at $80,000, and I immediately put in a bid for that amount.
“Are you crazy,” said Campanis. “What are you doing?”
“Chief,” I said. “You’ve been such a great guy to me that I’m going to get the yacht for you and we are going to sail it back to Vero Beach and it’s yours as a present from me.”
“Come one Tommy,” he said. “You can’t do that!”
“I bid $90,000,” I hollered to the auctioneer.
“Tommy,” he protested. “That’s a lot of money! You can’t do that for me.”
“It doesn’t make any difference to me,” I replied. “I want to do it for you. Just think how nice it will be to sail back to Vero Beach together!”
Finally I was outbid, but until the day he died he had no idea that I was never going to buy that yacht!