Mets legend Mike Piazza: ‘Simply put, there is no one like Tommy Lasorda’

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Alex Smith
·2 min read
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Mike Piazza smiles during dedication in Port St. Lucie
Mike Piazza smiles during dedication in Port St. Lucie

The baseball world lost a true icon on Friday, as former Dodgers manager and Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda died at the age of 93.

And while Lasorda is known by most for his larger-than-life personality, the two-time World Series-winning manager meant even more to Mike Piazza. Lasorda was a family friend of the Piazzas, and was the godfather of Mike’s brother, Tom.

As the story goes, Mike’s father, Vince, a longtime friend of Lasorda’s, asked the then-Dodgers manager to take a chance on his son in the 1988 draft when most team’s were overlooking him. Lasorda followed through, as the Dodgers selected Piazza in the 62nd round that year. Lasorda convinced Piazza to switch positions from first base to catcher, and 427 home runs later, Piazza’s plaque now sits not too far from Lasorda’s in Cooperstown.

Piazza took to Twitter on Friday evening to express his full gratitude to the late Lasorda.

“It’s hard to find the right words to say about a man who changed my life and my family’s life forever. A man with a larger than life personality, whose toughness, wit and tenacity rivals anyone I've ever met,” Piazza tweeted. “Simply put, there is no one like Tommy Lasorda.”

Piazza then continued in a thread: “Tommy took a chance on me and went to bat for me time and time again. In a room full of doubters, Tommy was the one person that believed in me. Not because he was my father’s best friend and my brother’s Godfather but, because he saw something in me that I didn’t always see in myself. He taught me a lot about the game but most importantly about life.

“My love and utmost appreciation for Tommy Lasorda is deeper than baseball. He was an inspiration to so many and I know I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to spend so much time with him. He helped shape me into the man I am today and I will cherish our memories together forever.

God Bless,#TommyLasorda #MLB #DodgerBlue”