Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review of "Tommy Lasorda: My Way"

My wife and I were in Cooperstown this year for the induction ceremonies and one of the more memorable events of the weekend was a book signing at the Hall by Tommy Lasorda. He was signing copies of the book "Tommy Lasorda: My Way" and he looked and sounded great.  I did get to chat with him briefly while he signed the book and I enjoyed the experience.  Reading the book was also a fun experience.  Here is my review of "Tommy Lasorda: My Way"

“Tommy Lasorda: My Way” by Colin Gunderson

Baseball, history, biography, Dodgers

Publish date:
April 1, 2015

257 pages

4 of 5 stars (very good)

Throughout his baseball career, both as a player and later as the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tommy Lasorda was known as much for his positive spin on anything related to the team or his players.  These traits come to life in this book written by Colin Gunderson.  The author worked as the press coordinator for Lasorda for 12 years, so he knows many of these stories first hand.

The writing shows the in-depth knowledge as each topic covered, from loyalty to competitiveness to determination is rich with details from many players who Lasorda coached or had as a teammate. Of course, his Dodger loyalty is discussed in depth as he bleeds Dodger blue. Lasorda provides many quotes as well, and they add even more substance to traits that are shown to be important to him.  Even for those readers who may not be fans of Lasorda or the Dodgers will enjoy the humor and genuine love Lasorda shares about many of these topics and people.

Those who are looking for something new or some previously unknown facts or characteristics will be disappointed as the public persona of Lasorda is proven to be completely true about the man. While at times it seems to be a bit excessive, both in Lasorda’s praise and the writing that makes him seem just too good, it at least is an accurate reflection. It is also very entertaining as the reader will often be laughing and smiling at some of the stories.

My favorite topic in the book was the chapter on patriotism. While this was a point he has made public before, many people may not realize that Lasorda’s favorite baseball moment did not involve the Dodgers. He has said that his proudest accomplishment in his career was when he was the manager of the United States Olympic baseball team in 2000 when the US won its only gold medal in baseball.  He talks about that tournament with the excitement of a kid and it was the chapter that I felt was filled with the best baseball writing, especially when describing the game in the medal round when Doug Mientkiewicz hit the game winning home run against South Korea. 

This is an entertaining, fun-to-read book on one of the most recognizable figures in recent baseball history.  Readers will never be bored while reading this and should enjoy each story about this legendary manager.

Pace of the book:
This is a very quick read as I completed it in under two hours of total reading time.  The stories come fast and furious and are never dull.

Do I recommend? 
Most baseball fans will enjoy reading this book, but it is especially recommended for Dodger fans or fans of Lasorda as this will bring back many good memories.

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