Tom Lasorda was honored last week by the Long Beach (Calif.) Armada, an independent minor league baseball team, before a home game against a Japanese team, the Samurai Bears.
Before the game, Lasorda was in the Armada locker room when he spotted Brad “the Animal” Lesley, who pitched for the Cincinnati Reds in the early 1980s before going on to play in Japan, where he also became a well-known actor.
“This guy was a wild man when he pitched for the Reds,” Lasorda told the people he was with. “He was a crazy man.”
Lasorda was unaware that Lesley’s 8-year-old son, Luke, was nearby.
“My dad’s crazy?” Luke asked.
Lasorda recovered quickly.
“No, no, your dad is a great, great man, and you should be very, very proud of him,” he said.
•Former USC baseball coach Rod Dedeaux was also on hand for Lasorda’s night at the Armada game.
“I don’t want to stand too close to Tommy,” said Dedeaux, 91. “Some people say we’re look-alikes, which is something neither one of us want to hear.”
Don’t call him directionless
Dolphins running back Ricky Williams told the Miami Herald that he had his first tattoo etched onto his left arm at Venice (Calif.) Beach when he was 16.
Mighty Mouse caught his eye and he chose a green and gold scheme because they were the colors of his high school team.
“They way I look at them, it’s somewhat of a map,” Williams said. “You look down and you see a tattoo and it brings you back to a time in your life.”
In other words, it helps you remember where you’ve been, in case you forget.
Blind justice had its day
Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle recalled once when Gene Mauch, who died Aug. 8, was going jaw to jaw with an umpire.
“When several of his players ran to join the heated discussion,” Ostler wrote, “Mauch stopped them, saying, ‘The first guy who lays a hand on this blind old man is fined $50.’ “
Helping those who help themselves
During the 50th anniversary celebration of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ first and only championship team this past weekend, outfielder George “Shotgun” Shuba recalled one time when he went to church before a game.
“I asked the priest, ‘Will I get a hit today if I say a prayer?’ ” Shuba said. “The priest said, ‘You will – if you’re a good hitter.’ “
Bloom’s off this Rose
Pete Rose told FSN’s “Best Damn Sports Show Period” that the dark cloud over his head might have something to do with his April 14 birthday.
“I was born the day Lincoln was shot and the Titanic sank,” he said.
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