It’s coming up on one month since the Dodgers, the city of Los Angeles, and the baseball community lost Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda. The icon succumb to heart troubles at the age of 93 and left behind a lifetime of incredible moments and accomplishments in Dodger blue.
In the days and weeks that followed, friends, fans, and family shared their love for Tommy, often with a great memory or two. In his final years, one man was seen by his side more often than not. Tommy’s assistant Felipe “Flip” Ruiz.
Recently, Los Angeles Times scribe Bill Plaschke penned a fantastic column on the “unlikeliest of partnerships” between the two men where Ruiz shared heartfelt words about the man he shared most of the last 6 years with.
He was my best friend, my life mentor, my father, my grandfather. He didn’t treat me like an employee, he treated me like a son. – LA Times.
Tommy Lasorda: Celebration of Life at Dodger Stadium
As we now approach that one month mark since Tommy’s passing, Flip is still sharing more wonderful words about his legendary friend.
Gonna miss all the pep talks, hearing Tommy tell the players what it took to be a Dodger. The pride they should have when they put on the Dodger uniform. Always reminded them that they should play for the name on the front of the jersey & not for the name on the back of the jersey & to always be a great person on and off the field.
Tommy was home when he was at spring training. And each and every year, the former manager would make his pilgrimage to Camelback Ranch in Arizona to share the good gospel of the Dodgers — to let young players know what it means to put on that uniform.
Just like Felipe said. And heard each and every year.
Spring training will never be the same at Camelback Ranch. However, even if Tommy’s no longer here in person, his spirit will live on at the Dodger complex in Glendale, Arizona, and at Dodger Stadium. And in the stories of the people who were lucky enough to spend enough time with Tom Charles Lasorda.