Baseball’s Tommy Lasorda is 84, very busy, and still authentically Catholic

His ability to tell a story, to speak extemporaneously, to motivate, to humor, remains unparalleled. It’s why he’s still relevant, why he’s sought as a speaker all over the country 16 years after he managed his last game and 24 years since the Dodgers last won a World Series.

Lasorda thinks back to his roots. He was one of five sons born to Italian immigrants Sabatino and Carmella Lasorda, raised in a small tri-level house in blue-collar Norristown, Pa. Sabatino drove a truck at a stone quarry for a living.

“A lot of times when I’m up there speaking, I think of my father and how he was a great storyteller,” Lasorda says. “When he wanted us to do something, he always told us in story form. He’d use our names in the stories and they always had a message.”

One made-up tale Sabatino told his sons was of a priest who wanted a huge boulder removed from the front of the parish. He had the five Lasorda brothers over for dinner, thinking that if he fed them, they’d move the rock for him. After they ate, the priest said, “You are the biggest guys in town. Show me how strong you are.”

One of the Lasorda brothers replied, “Look, Father, you got us all wrong. We’re just the biggest eaters in town.” The Lasordas walked out on the priest.

“That was my dad’s way of telling us, ‘You guys are lazy. You eat but you don’t do squat,’ ” Lasorda says, a good 70 years after the lesson.

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