A distant relative of Lasorda's and a son of the manager's closest friend, Vincent Piazza, Mike was a courtesy pick in the 62nd round of the 1988 free-agent amateur draft. His Hall of Fame career, however, started in much different circumstances. The Hall of Fame catcher expressed his sorrow following the death of Tommy Lasorda, his first … #baseball. He leads the team in batting average, home runs and runs batted in. Because Vince Piazza was friends with Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda – the godfather to Piazza’s younger brother, Tommy – Mike Piazza spent a portion of his youth as the Dodgers’ bat boy. But Piazza, then a first baseman, said the experience was a little overwhelming. Don’t forget me. While it was more of a favor than anything else, Mike had other ideas. One of his closest friends, Dodger triple-A pitcher Greg Hansell, says Piazza is his own worst critic. Someday I’ll be looking for you to get tickets to a game. “Sometimes, I can go into a shell. Tommy Lasorda is honored with flowers near his retired number at Dodger Stadium on Friday after the former Dodgers manager died Thursday night at 93. Lasorda is the godfather of Piazza’s younger brother, Tommy, who is also Lasorda’s namesake. Even with Lasorda’s clout, no team drafted Piazza as a high school graduate. LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda was memorialized during a private service Tuesday at Dodger Stadium before his burial. Just not Mike. Just like players who go into hitting slumps, catchers have throwing slumps. It was the manager’s friendship with Piazza’s father, Norristown native Vince Piazza, that led Los Angeles to make the unheralded catcher a 62nd-round pick in the 1988 amateur draft. . The one-time $600 payment to households, which Gov. Piazza played for Lasorda’s final Dodger teams from 1992 to 1996, and was traded to the Marlins and Mets in a whirlwind week in 1998. 50 talking about this. Because Vince Piazza was friends with Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda — the godfather to Piazza’s younger brother, Tommy — Mike Piazza spent a portion of his youth as the Dodgers’ bat boy. Ships Free with code: 24FS. Piazza embraced the game; he spent hours hitting in a backyard batting cage, even impressing Ted Williams. Vince relentlessly tried to construct the perfect hitter on his Pennsylvania estate, building an indoor batting cage on his property, even summoning Hall of Famer Ted Williams to study his son’s swing, believing Mike one day would be in the big leagues. While it was more of a favor than anything else, Mike had other ideas. “If something happened to Mike’s parents, we (he and wife Jo) would take him over. . Injuries to key free agents like Eric Davis, Juan Samuel and Darryl Strawberry forced the Dodgers to try untested rookies. But one night recently, Piazza’s intensity came through loud and clear. Ted Williams saw it, too. If not for Tommy Lasorda’s lifelong friendship with his dad (Lasorda was also one of Mike’s brother’s godfather), Mike wouldn’t have been drafted at all. His outburst was sparked by a new Dodger security policy that prevented a friend from meeting him outside the clubhouse as planned. He leads the team in batting in every major category and is quickly taking the lead in fan popularity. by Cass Anderson July 19, 2016. At that tryout, Piazza belted home run after home run. Baseball Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda has died at age 93. If Piazza … While the New York Yankees may be the big name in Big Apple baseball, the New York Mets have their own rich history. He managed in four All-Star games. These days, most baseball fans remember Mike Piazza as the handlebar mustache-wearing catcher who hit an iconic post-9/11 home run. Vince, who had built a batting cage for his son in the back yard of their house in Norristown, Pa., picked up Williams at a nearby hotel and brought him to their house. “I got a Mail-gram from the Dodgers,” Piazza said, smiling. “So Tommy asked him, ‘If he was a catcher and he hit like this, would you need to see him play?’ And Ben said no. The day his cast came off, he was in the batting cage, but it was too late to make the scouting reports. But sometimes I just don’t want to deal with things. What Lasorda saw in Piazza was power. Archives Classic Galleries. Mike Piazza tells Dave Davies about how his father's childhood friend, Tommy Lasorda, took an interest in his career and getting him to the big leagues: I'd like to believe that my talent would have eventually carried me there but I think being with the Dodgers in that unique position of having Tommy sort of look out for me and guide me in a way did help. “I can remember even back when Michael was 12,” Vince Piazza said. After only getting nine at-bats during his entire freshman year, the first baseman left the program. “After a loss like that, I felt I let the team down and the whole situation was frustrating.”. Mike Piazza fondly recalled his biggest believer Friday.The Hall of Fame catcher expressed his sorrow following the death of Tommy Lasorda, his first MLB manager and a close family friend. Vince Piazza's own hopes of playing baseball had ended at the age of 16 when he left school to support his family. He was taken in the 62nd round in the 1988 draft by the Dodgers, 1,390th overall. Add to Cart. “They didn’t even call me. Even though Mike’s relationship with Tommy has been great for him, it sometimes made it difficult when his ability to play was overlooked because of their relationship.”. Yet Lasorda has said all along that although he is Piazza’s godfather, Mike is not his godson. The Dodgers obliged and made Piazza a throw-away pick--their 62nd-round choice in the June draft in 1988. “I think it goes back to his high school days,” Hansell said. Piazza is not a quiet person by any means, but there is a quiet intensity about him. Lasorda is not Mike's uncle nor his godfather, Vince Piazza said. In all, the state will provide 5.7 million payments to low-income Californians as part of the $9.6-billion economic recovery package. The kid was catcher Mike Piazza, who became a Dodgers star and fan favorite before being shipped to the Florida Marlins in a hugely unpopular trade. Forget about being drafted so low. Tommy took a chance on me and went to bat for me time and time again. Tommy Lasorda, one of the great characters in the history of baseball who spent 71 years in the Dodgers organization, died Friday at 93. Mike’s father, Vince, dreamed of being a baseball player but walked away from the game to help provide for his family. Lasorda and the Piazzas are like family -- though Piazza mentions more than once that contrary to popular belief Lasorda is actually godfather to his brother Tommy Piazza… Well, to be perfectly candid, Vince Piazza and Lasorda believed in Piazza when no one else in the world did. And while Lasorda is known by most for his larger-than-life personality, the two-time World Series-winning manager meant even more to Mike Piazza. “I wish I’d never met him.”, L.A. Unified gets 100 doses but needs thousands to reopen schools, Signs of hope as virus cases drop in California, Do I still need to wear a mask after being vaccinated? Every time you turn around, he’s in the midst of a streak. Gavin Newsom proposed last month amid the COVID-19 pandemic, would cost about $2.3 billion, and go to people including those receiving the California earned income tax credit for 2020. “Actually, that is when I started taking weights seriously, and that had a lot to do with my success.”. Your friend, Ted Williams.” Most of the baseball world, though, remained skeptical about Piazza. 43 talking about this. New ‘Allen v. Farrow’ docuseries trailer digs into Woody Allen abuse allegations, In a trailer for HBO’s “Allen v. Farrow,” Mia Farrow says falling for director Woody Allen was “the great regret” of her life. Mike Piazza Was Only Drafted by the Dodgers Because Tommy Lasorda Was a Family Friend (1998) $499.99. Updated Jan 21, 2019; Posted Apr 21, 2010 . qty-dropdown. What a pantheon from just my era! Rookie cards, autographs and more. If there ever was a reason for the media to stop reporting that Dodger rookie catcher Mike Piazza is the godson of Manager Tom Lasorda, this is it: Piazza’s official godfather is his uncle. The Queens club might only have two World Series titles, but they’ve seen more than their fair share of iconic players and colorful characters. He can’t turn around and look into the eyes of Tommy Lasorda, a longtime family friend who’ll be sitting on stage with the other Hall of Famers. He found some success at Miami-Dade North Community College, but hardly seemed destined for greatness. But that is in name only. Luckily, one inspirational dental patient was there to save the day: Tommy Lasorda. Vince Piazza was friendly with Tommy Lasorda, the Los Angeles Dodgers manager, who grew up in Norristown, and at 13 Mike had the opportunity to act as batboy for the Dodgers when they played in Philadelphia. “I don’t want to let down mentally and physically,” he said. Some believe it was only Tommy Lasorda doing a favor for his pal, Mike's dad, Vince. Lasorda convinced the team to use their final draft pick, 1,390th overall, to select Piazza. RELATED: Mike Piazza’s $120 Million Baseball Career Started With a Favor from Tommy Lasorda A pitcher who had a 6.48 ERA in 26 career games from 1954-56, Tommy Lasorda is best known for his managerial career. “Tommy came and spoke at his school and when he finished his speech, he looked out at the kids in the assembly and said, ‘You have a student here named Mike Piazza, and remember what I am telling you, because he is going to play for the Dodgers some day.’, “But there sure were a lot of doubting Thomases.”, Californians with low incomes to receive $600 checks under $9.6-billion COVID-19 economic package. “He’s a hard worker,” said Eric Karros, who won last season’s rookie award. The Hall of Fame catcher expressed his sorrow following the death of Tommy Lasorda, his first MLB manager and a close family friend. Los Angeles Dodgers, American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles that plays in the National League. Lasorda, 93, had battled various illnesses in recent ye “I want to continue to work harder than I did to get here and not take things for granted.”. Lasorda's Philly ties ran deep. Lasorda, 93, had battled various illnesses in recent years. When the Dodgers—managed by Vince Piazza's childhood friend Tommy Lasorda, the godfather of Mike Piazza's youngest brother, Tommy —visited Philadelphia, Piazza visited the Dodger clubhouse and served as a bat boy in the dugout. Childhood. It goes without saying that Miami-Dade North Community College isn’t a hotbed of Major League Baseball talent. RIP to one of the greatest managers and sports personalities of all time. Lasorda, 93, had battled various illnesses in recent years. When Mike Piazza was hired to manage Italy's national baseball team, one of the first people he shared the news with was Tommy Lasorda. Buy from many sellers and get your cards all in one shipment! Piazza was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, grew up in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and attended Phoenixville Area High School.He is of half Italian and half Slovak ancestry, and is the second-oldest son of Vince and Veronica, with brothers Vince Jr., Dan, Tony, and Tom. “You take one brother, you take them all,” Lasorda said. Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers manager and Baseball Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, who guided his team to two World Series championships, has died, the Dodgers organization announced.He was 93. Mike Piazza, whose legendary MLB career may never have started without borderline divine intervention from Tommy Lasorda, joined the chorus saluting … Lasorda died Jan. 7 after a heart attack at age 93. Lasorda went 1,599-1,439-2 from 1976-96, every season coming with the Dodgers.  Posted: Nov 29, 2019 / 01:44 PM CST / Updated: Nov 29, 2019 / 03:08 PM CST. A man with a larger than life personality, whose toughness, wit and tenacity rivals anyone I've ever met. Said Piazza: “So Tommy asked him, ‘If he was a shortstop and he hit like this, would you need to see him play?’ And Ben said yes. ROME (AP) — When Mike Piazza was hired to manage Italy’s national baseball team, one of the first people he shared the news with was Tommy Lasorda. Piazza threw himself into his new position, even heading to the Dodgers’ Dominican Republic academy to sharpen his skills. Lasorda convinced the team to use their final draft pick, 1,390th overall, to select Piazza. Piazza recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to discuss the Dodgers among other things, including the moment he had to tell Tommy Lasorda that he was picking the Mets over the Dodgers. Lasorda, though, never doubted that Piazza could play. Luckily, Mike Piazza had an ace up his sleeve: his dad was a childhood friend of Tommy Lasorda, who was managing the Los Angeles Dodgers. Official Facebook Page of Mike Piazza, Retired Major League Baseball player for 16 Seasons ... there is no one like Tommy Lasorda. When Mike Piazza was hired to manage Italy's national baseball team, one of the first people he shared the news with was Tommy Lasorda. His casket, covered with a huge assortment of blue and white flowers, was placed on the pitcher’s mound with a blue 2, signifying Lasorda’s jersey number, on the back of the mound. After he threw out 11 of 16 base stealers to start the season, Piazza’s success rate dropped. “Mike doesn’t expect too much from anyone, and he doesn’t want much from anyone else,” Hansell said, “but he also doesn’t want anyone to expect anything from him.”. It was more or less their way of saying good luck.”. As he watches an old movie on the big-screen TV in his office, changes out of his sweaty batting practice . Childhood. The team has won six World Series titles and 23 NL pennants. NPR remembers his life. Piazza was also lucky that his father was a close friend of former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. When the team eventually reached out to him, he asked for a tryout. Thomas was named after Lasorda and it has been widely misstated by Steve Staats that Lasorda is Mike's godfather. Lasorda took care of the younger Piazza is if he were his own son. But I keep track of it and I’m throwing out 40% or better. He has now thrown out 20 of 55, and seven of the last 16. Piazza said he is not feeling any pressure, but he also said he is not able to enjoy his success yet. Mike Piazza fondly recalled his biggest believer Friday. “They said this guy couldn’t hit; couldn’t throw,” Lasorda said, shaking his head. For years, observers have wondered what would seal the disgraced filmmaker’s fate. Marc Griffin partage certaines anecdotes au sujet de Tommy Lasorda qui est décédé à 93 ans Autographed Los Angeles Dodgers Mike Piazza and Tommy Lasorda Fanatics Authentic Baseball. Tom's godfather is former MLB manager Tommy Lasorda.Mike grew up a Philadelphia Phillies fan, … In 1993, Piazza earned a full-time job with the Dodgers; he promptly earned the National League Rookie of the Year title, batting .318 and hitting 35 home runs. Lasorda was the godfather to Thomas Piazza, the younger brother of Major League Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza, both of whom are also from Lasorda's hometown of Norristown, Pennsylvania. By ANDREW DAMPF November 29, 2019 ROME (AP) — When Mike Piazza was hired to manage Italy’s national baseball team, one of the first people he shared the news with was Tommy Lasorda. “I just snapped,” Piazza said. © Copyright 2021 Endgame360 Inc. All Rights Reserved. Angels fan here (OC native), but when I think of LA baseball, I think Dodgers, Vin Scully, Tommy Lasorda, Kirk Gibson, Mike Scioscia, Mike Piazza. “He’s got a couple of sides to him, but you have to be able to get some emotion out and not let it overtake you, and Mike knows how to do that,” Hansell said. 2 jersey in Los Angeles. “Tommy and my father have been friends forever, and he has always been in my corner. And he’s done that.”. LOS ANGELES -- Tommy Lasorda, the fiery Hall of Fame manager who guided the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles and later became an … “I’m fairly private,” he said. “Maybe it is my way of getting away from the game and the expectations.”. Lasorda’s longtime friend, Ron Fraser, former. Mike Piazza Talks About How Tommy Lasorda Flipped On Him For Choosing To Enter Hall Of Fame With Mets. Now 92, the former Los Angeles Dodgers manager had persuaded Piazza to switch from first base to catcher at the start of what would be a Hall of Fame career. It might have made the story better, Lasorda actually being Mike Piazza's godfather. Mike Piazza’s touching tribute to Tommy Lasorda: ‘Believed in me’ New York Post - By Mike Puma. “I don’t really know when it got started, but it’s just always been that way,” Piazza said. He can’t turn around and look into the eyes of Tommy Lasorda, a longtime family friend who’ll be sitting on stage with the other Hall of Famers. And as his hitting continued impressively, talk began to circulate that he might be converted to a third baseman. “Tommy Lasorda was always in my corner,” Piazza said. Review: HBO’s devastating ‘Allen v. Farrow’ is a nail in the coffin of Woody Allen’s legacy. He played well there before splitting two knuckles and sitting out most of the season. “I would always ask him, ‘What did you do in high school?’ I think he was somewhat of a rebel and a loner and just got into his music and baseball.”. Piazza told him he had read it already, and Williams asked him to go get it. Inside the book, Williams wrote: “To my friend Mike, from Ted Williams. “I worked my butt off to get here as a catcher and I don’t know if I want to go back down to triple-A to learn third base. Lasorda managed nine National League Rookie of the Year winners, including Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Sax, Steve Howe, Mike Piazza, Eric Karros and Hideo Nomo. I don’t want to return phone calls to anybody, not even to my parents. ROME — When Mike Piazza was hired to manage Italy’s national baseball team, one of the first people he shared the news with was Tommy Lasorda. “His style may be a little dated for lack of a better term, but he … “I really don’t have that many friends, and there are only a few guys I hang out with. Four seasons later, Piazza, 24, is the new pride of the Dodgers’ farm system. "There are two things about Tommy I will always remember," legendary broadcaster Vin Scully said in a statement released by the Dodgers. He’s doing so well, in fact, that the label is beginning to peel off. “He watched Mike’s swing and he said, ‘If this kid is swinging this well now and he’s only 16, I guarantee you that he will hit in the major leagues,’ ” Vince recalled. Piazza's father Vince grew up with the Dodgers legend in Pennsylvania, eventually even asking him to serve as godfather to Mike's younger brother Tommy. He had already had former Dodger catcher Joe Ferguson work out with Piazza to see if he could be converted to a catcher. Author: Kelly Whiteside. “Who’s saying that?” Piazza asked. His eight home runs in 41 games are the most by a Dodger catcher since Mike Scioscia hit eight in 119 games in 1991. Simply put, there is no one like Tommy Lasorda. Every city Piazza plays in, there are rookie-of-the-year signs displayed in the crowd. After the Dodgers had suffered their toughest defeat of the season, a 7-6 setback against the Philadelphia Phillies at Dodger Stadium, Piazza’s voice could be heard throughout the underground tunnels adjacent to the Dodger clubhouse. Lasorda, who is a distant cousin of Piazza’s father, Vince, was referred to within their families as Piazza’s godfather long before Piazza made it to the majors. Quantity. Democratic lawmakers will introduce a broad immigration reform bill that Biden touted on his first day in office, part of a years-long effort. Once his defense was strong enough to earn a place in the lineup, his bat was potent enough to keep him there. by: ANDREW DAMPF, Associated Press. Out of Stock. Facebook Twitter Reddit Flipboard. “Maybe that was a way of letting out my frustration about the game, but on the same note, that situation wasn’t handled well,” Piazza said. Ferguson liked Piazza’s arm, and gave Lasorda the go-ahead sign. Once his foot was in the door, however, the catcher made the best of his opportunity. “Tommy took a chance on me and went to bat for me time and time again,” Piazza wrote on Twitter. Tommy Lasorda; Tony Gonsolin; Tyler White; Victor Gonzalez; Walker Buehler; Walter Alston; Will Smith; Yimi Garcia; Zach Mckinstry; Los Angeles Dodgers Apparels Store. But now that I’m in the spotlight, our relationship is exploited because I’m doing well.”. In this Aug. 15, 1997, photo, former Los Angeles Dodgers manager and Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, right, interacts with Mike Piazza before a ceremony to retire Lasorda’s No. Piazza was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, grew up in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, and attended Phoenixville Area High School.He is of half Italian and half Slovak ancestry, and is the second-oldest son of Vince and Veronica, with brothers Vince Jr., Dan, Tony, and Tom. Did you know that Mike Piazza was a bat boy for 10 years for Tommy Lasorda's Dodgers each time they came into play the Phillies. . “I sat on the bench and didn’t even make the travel squad, so I started studying and lifting weights,” Piazza said. With his career seemingly at a standstill, Piazza transferred to Miami-Dade North Community College. Piazza paid tribute to Lasorda when the former catcher was enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2016. There were roadblocks at every turn, some that even Lasorda couldn’t ram. “There are no excuses, but we are not machines.”. “So when Mr. Williams asked if he could come over and see Mike’s swing, I said, ‘Are you kidding?’ ”. Unlike most managers who move from team to team, Lasorda spent his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hansell said he learned from rooming with Piazza that sometimes he simply needs to be left alone. Piazza paid tribute to Lasorda when the former catcher was enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2016. Lasorda worked as a player, scout, manager and front office executive with the Dodgers dating to their roots in Brooklyn. At the University of Miami, Piazza failed to hit his stride. “. “It hasn’t been easy for Mike. ROME — When Mike Piazza was hired to manage Italy’s national baseball team, one of the first people he shared the news with was Tommy Lasorda. THIS ITEM SHIPS ON OR BEFORE Thursday, February 4th. Lasorda, who is a distant cousin of Piazza’s father, Vince, was referred to within their families as Piazza’s godfather long before Piazza made it to the majors. By then, the relationship between Piazza's father and Lasorda had continued to flourish. Once he struck it rich in business, he ensured that one of his children would make it to the big leagues. Mike Piazza was the gifted hitter whose lack of speed and defensive skill heralded little opportunity until Tommy Lasorda hounded the … Lasorda floated the idea of moving the young first baseman behind the plate to take advantage of his bat; the club agreed to give him a shot and signed Mike to a contract with a $15,000 signing bonus. Shop COMC's extensive selection of los angeles dodgers baseball cards from 1993. His father, Vince, was a good friend of Tommy Lasorda, the longtime manager of the Dodgers. In batting practice recently, Piazza hit three consecutive pitches into the upper section of the left-field pavilion. Your Price: $399.99. “Our families are so close, that’s what we call it in Italian, godfather,” he said. Publish date: Jul 5, 1993 A Piazza With Everything. And to think, it all started with favor from Tommy Lasorda. But his road to the majors hasn’t been easy, even with Lasorda helping him. By the time he retired from baseball, Mike Piazza had spent 16 seasons in the big leagues, taking home more than $120 million; his career .308 batting average, 427 home runs, and 1,335 RBIs have since earned him a place in Cooperstown. “One thing that is different (about their rookie seasons) is that he has had to deal with his relationship with Tommy and prove that that is not the reason he is here. Offer ends in 5hrs 30min 19sec! In New York, however, he became a blue-collar hero. University of Miami baseball coach, liked Piazza’s bat, and took him as a walk-on. “He was doing that before he was even signed by the Dodgers,” Lasorda deadpanned. Rookie catcher Mike Piazza brings a hot bat, a fiery intensity and a touch of the paisano to Tommy Lasorda's lineup. It wasn’t until Mark Langill of the Pasadena Star News asked, “Are you really . In a room full of doubters, Tommy was the one person that believed in me. “A lot of the scouts were there and I hit about 10 or 15 balls into the seats,” Piazza said. Tommy Lasorda visits his godson, Alex Avila, in Tigers clubhouse. Some, like Jose Offerman, Eric Young and Lasorda’s godson, Mike Piazza, turned out pretty well, but at the time, people were starting to question if the 64-year-old Lasorda was the right man for the team. Tommy Lasorda is a godfather to one of Vince Piazza's other sons, Tommy, who's named after him. Luckily, Mike Piazza had an ace up his sleeve: his dad was a childhood friend of Tommy Lasorda, who was managing the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Tommy Lasorda was always in my corner,” Piazza said. In the big leagues, Piazza belted 427 home runs, including one famous blast, and earned more than $120 million in salary. Once he headed to college, however, he hit a snag. Call it a cultural thing, as Lasorda does. Piazza was baseball’s ultimate rags-to-riches story, as much as the son of a multimillionaire can be. When Mike Piazza was hired to manage Italy's national baseball team, one of the first people he shared the news with was Tommy Lasorda. Democrats unveil broad immigration reform bill with citizenship path for 11 million. But Lasorda wasn’t done yet. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, there was no one bigger than Mike Piazza. Tommy Lasorda is on his feet, pontificating again. Piazza gained instant notoriety in the Dodger organization, being dubbed Lasorda's godson even though Lasorda is in reality the godfather of Piazza's 11-year-old brother, Tommy. If not for Tommy Lasorda, Mike Piazza might not have gotten a chance with the Los Angeles Dodgers. I wouldn’t say that I’m moody. Among the nine rookies of the year Mr. Lasorda managed with the Dodgers was future Hall of Famer Mike Piazza. But his defense is still being questioned. The first was Mike Piazza, … He has silenced many of his critics with his bat and hopes to someday quiet the rest with his defense. Mike was born on Sept. 4, 1968, and Lasorda didn't take over as the Dodgers' manager until 1977. No team was interested. Wade told Lasorda that he wanted to see Piazza play. Official Facebook Page of Mike Piazza, Retired Major League Baseball player for 16 Seasons "The first is his boundless enthusiasm. Lasorda was a close friend of Piazza's father, Vince, and the godfather to Mike's younger brother Thomas. Finally, two months after the draft, Dodger scouting director Ben Wade asked Piazza to fly out from Norristown for a workout at Dodger Stadium. Now 92, the former Los Angeles Dodgers manager had persuaded Piazza to switch from first base to catcher at the start of what would be a Hall of Fame career. Shipping. The Hall of Fame catcher expressed his sorrow following the death of Tommy Lasorda, his first MLB manager and a close family friend. Autographed Los … THIS IS A MANUFACTURER DIRECT ITEM. Ships Free. “Tommy was shagging balls in the outfield and he asked Ben Wade, ‘Well, what do you think?’ ”. He was a Norristown, PA native who took some of his great Dodgers teams into Veterans Stadium for playoff showdowns in the late-70s. that Piazza responded to a label carried even on his baseball cards and in the Dodger media guide.
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