Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda entertained a crowd of nearly 300 for the better part of an hour on Monday evening as part of the inaugural Valparaiso Baseball Bash held at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
Lasorda, one of just 16 managers in the Baseball Hall of Fame, told stories of his days managing the Los Angeles Dodgers as well as passing along motivational messages to those in attendance.
An honorary alumnus at Valparaiso, Lasorda was Crusader head coach Tracy Woodson’s manager in 1988 when the Dodgers won the World Series, and was glad to help promote the Valpo baseball program.
“Anytime I can help the guys that played for me, I’m ready to do it,” Lasorda said. “This school has been special to me for many years. I’ve always been proud of this university.”
Also on hand were former major leaguers Lloyd McClendon, Dan Plesac, Mickey Morandini, and Ron Kittle.
“I try and make it back her every chance I get,” McClendon, a Valpo grad said, “I’m a big fan of what Tracy Woodson is doing. I think having Tommy here is tremendous for the program as well.”
“There’s a lot of good people and players at the university,” said Plesac. “Hopefully the program can be built up with high school talent in Northwest Indiana.”
In addition to Lasorda speaking, both a live and silent auction took place with proceeds helping the Crusader baseball program.