Best known as the colourful and beloved manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tommy Lasorda spent the bulk of his professional playing career in Canada. Originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies, the fiery southpaw landed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948.
Starting in 1950, Lasorda pitched a record nine seasons with the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers Triple-A affiliate. In 1951, he notched 12 victories – the first of six campaigns in which he registered at least 10 wins for the Royals – and helped the club to a league title. He would trump that season in 1953, when he recorded 17 wins and led the Royals to another championship. After brief major league stops with Brooklyn and Kansas City and a stint in the New York Yankees organization, Lasorda returned to Montreal in 1958 to win 18 games and earn the circuit’s most valuable pitcher honours.
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