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I Live for This: Baseball's Last True Believer by [Plaschke, Bill]
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I Live for This: Baseball's Last True Believer Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"This book is about one of baseball's greats. Being a famous manager is not always easy, but Tommy Lasorda did it with class and style. I'm proud to call him a friend." (Former President George H. W. Bush )

"Tommy Lasorda is a Hall of Fame manager. And if there were a Hall of Fame for colorful characters and great storytellers, he would be in those too. It's all here, enjoy." (Bob Costas, NBC and HBA Sports )

"Tommy Lasorda is one of the greatest managers his sport -- or any sport -- has ever seen. "I Live for This!" takes readers inside his world where honor, loyalty, hard work and heart are not just part of the game plan, but essential to life. He has succeeded where many would have failed and this book tells you how -- and why." (Joe Paterno, head coach, Pennsylvania State University football )

About the Author

Bill Plaschke has been a sports columnist at the Los Angeles Times since 1996 and is a regular panelist on the ESPN daily talk show, "Around The Horn." Named National Sports Columnist of the Year by a variety of organizations, including Associated Press, Sigma Delta Chi, and National Headliners, Plaschke has also been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize and his work has been featured in several editions of "Best American Sports Writing." He is the author of three books, including a collection of his sports writing. He lives in La Canada, California with his wife and three children.

Tommy Lasorda is one of the most enthusiastic and successful managers in baseball history, a Hall of Famer known as much for his personality as his managing prowess, who led the Dodgers to 8 division titles and 2 world championships in his storied 21 seasons as manager. Famous in five continents, he also managed the US to its first ever gold medal in baseball in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He is still active in the Dodger organization, serving currently as special adviser to the president. He was named the official ambassador of the World Baseball Classic and continues to lecture internationally, promoting baseball around the world.

Product Details

  • File Size: 4311 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (April 3, 2009)
  • Publication Date: April 3, 2009
  • Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004H1UF1W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,085,150 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael R. Chernick on April 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I have seen Plaschke on TV and met Tommy Lasorda at Dodger stadium one time as we past his limo heading into the park. This was after his managerial carrer was over. My wife was a nurse working when Tommy's wife wsa treated at Centinela hospital i 1991. He stopped to talk to us and sign something for us but said he was in a hurry. My wife mentioned his wifes's hospitalization and we got into a nice friendly conversation before he left. As related in the book, Tommy was himself hospitalized at Centinela in 1996 for a heart attack. So even though I was a Yankee fan and relished in the Yankee victories over his Dodgers in 77 and 78, I found him to be very nice, funny and endearing.

That type of personality comes through in this book as well. But early on we learn about his idiosynchrosies and the story meanders. It is hard to tell where Plaschke is trying to go with this.

I was thinking about a possible two star review or at most a three. But things got interesting as I moved toward the latter chapters. I learn how he managed to get the Dodgers to sign Mike Piazza and how Lasorda helped mold him into perhaps the greatest slugging catcher in baseball history.

But the most interesting part for me was to read how he took advantage of the moves Fred Claire made to revamp the team after a dismall 1987 season to build a world champion. Kirk Gibson and Orel Hershiser were the key players and under the leadership of Gibson Lasorda could lay back and let Gibby motivate the rest of the players. So Tommy shut down his usual pep talks and ket the team run on automatic pilot to take the West Division championship. However when the got to the NLCS they had to beat a strong Mets team that had beaten the dodgers badly in their regular season games.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Do you bleed Dodger blue? Tommy does. If that's your blood color, don't miss this breezy look at the many ages of Tommy from little kid through to the 2008 season when he managed the last game at Dodgertown in Vero Beach.

Tommy Lasorda is a unique combination of loyal supporter, brash striver, outrageous motivator, kid with a chip on his shoulder, big-hearted helper, insecure human, foul-mouthed jerk, and adoring pal. The size of his heart is what stands out from this biography.

I decided to pick up the book when my sister recounted a story about some shenanigans at one of the Dodger minor league clubs a few weeks ago. She told me that she would straighten it out. I asked her how. She said, "I'll tell Tommy the next time I see him."

Naturally, I asked her when she sees Tommy and she replied that he often comes to the minor league team's games. She often chats with him there.

If you want an objective look at baseball, the Dodgers, the modern game, or anything else, go elsewhere. This book is for those who loved watching Tommy Lasorda manage.

I was never so moved by baseball as when Tommy's crew won the 1988 World Series with a bunch of players most other teams would have sent to the minors. But they all believed and they achieved. I still tear up thinking about that series and the incredible courage they displayed.

I also owe Tommy and the Dodgers for letting me watch them win the 1981 series in Yankee Stadium. I didn't know Yankee fans could be so quiet.

Bill Plaschke knows Tommy and does a good job of mixing up today, yesterday, stories about the old times, and what Tommy plans to do next into the same stream of consciousness. It's like being with Tommy.

May God bless Frank McCourt for buying the Dodgers and putting Tommy back into the middle of things where he belongs.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the biography of Hall Of Fame Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda. Unlike most biographies which are chronological; birth to youth to aged, this story starts with a "Foreword" in 1990, then to the present, and then the entire book consists of "flash-backs" from the present to the past, and then back to the present again. It's very much like some of today's annoying movies where the story continually flashes back and forth and you're never sure what dimension you're in. But once you get used to that, the story takes off like a speedster running out an inside the park home run!

Tommy who came from an Italian immigrant family in Norristown Pennsylvania never forgets where he came from. The story allows you to follow Tommy from having to steal his first baseball glove, to him sitting on the top of the world when he wins two world championships for the Dodgers. Combining an immeasurable desire to be a Major League ballplayer, with a "baseball wit" that would make a vaudeville comedian envious, and the willingness to throw more haymakers than the last five heavyweight champions combined, Tommy was not to be denied.

Lasorda throughout the book is giving speeches to anyone willing to listen, and even to people who don't. He gives speeches for large sums of money, and gives speeches for free to churches, firemen, the military, and other worthy causes. The honesty in this book is powerful! Tommy pledges undying allegiance and thanks to the people who helped him and always stood by him. People such as the O'Malley family, Al Campanis, his best friend and USC baseball legend Rod Dedeaux. He just as vehemently curses the ground that his enemies walked on, such as former Dodger manager Walt Alston.
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