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I Live for This!: Baseball's Last True Believer Hardcover – October 24, 2007
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"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 ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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It's pretty much a straightforward biography and clearly has no really earth shattering bombshells. With Lasorda what you see is what you get but that doesn't mean it's not entertaining and enlightening. The narrative covers his early years and struggles along with a lengthy ride up to the majors toiling away in the minors. Can't say the guy didn't pay his dues. The most salient thing that came through was his loyalty to the team. He really believes in what he preaches. There is also ample coverage of his time with the Dodgers and all the stories of the teams and players of those great years, 1988 being my favorite.
On balance, the writer gives what I consider to be a fair portrait of the man. Some critics would say a bit too easy on him, but as a fan I found much to make me admire him even more.
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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It is written by Bill Plaschke, the Los Angeles Times columnist who might be the best sportswriter in the...Read more