Back in the early 80's, when the Phillies actually fielded winning teams, my radio station, WARM 590, sent its legendary sports director, Ron Allen, to Philadelphia to do his radio show from Veterans Stadium. At the time, ABC was using Dodgers' manager Tom Lasorda on its post season coverage.
Lasorda has a local connection. He grew up in Norristown, right outside of Philadelphia. He used to referee youth basketball games in Hazleton.
Lasorda left us Friday. Ron died in 2008, and you should have heard him tell the story. There was no greater story teller in the business, on or off the air.
The way Ron told it, Lasorda graciously gave him an interview before a playoff or World Series game, saying how wonderful it was to be back in Philadelphia and southeastern Pennsylvania, and he had fond memories of Hazleton.
Once Ron's microphone and tape recorder were off, Lasorda launched in to a four letter tirade over the City of Philadelphia, and how the Phillies had no business being in the post season. Ron's telling of the tale was a thing of beauty and the words, raunchy as they were, still echo on my head. I think Lasorda used more obscene words than clean ones.
It was no secret Lasorda liked to swear. His words will live on forever on You Tube. He will be remembered as a good baseball manager and a great ambassador for the game. He loved baseball and he really loved the Dodgers. Tommy Lasorda was 93.
I wrote a blog entry after Ron's death in September of 2008. He might not have been the easiest person to get along with and you cannot deny his talent I will forever be grateful that Ron gave me a job in March of 1981. I will also be grateful I heard those wonderful stories.