11/12/2013 -- SAN DIEGO - Baseball Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda served as the guest of honor for the 1st Marine Logistics Group Officer’s Ball in San Diego, Nov. 8, 2013, in celebration of the 238th Marine Corps Birthday.
During the event, Marine officers watched the official Marine Corps Birthday Message, conducted a cake-cutting ceremony, listened to remarks by Brigadier Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, commanding general, 1st MLG, and a speech by Tommy Lasorda.
“If I would ask someone who [Tommy Lasorda] was, they would say he’s a Dodger, that he’s a ballplayer,” said Brig. Gen. Coglianese, a native of New Jersey. “I would tell you he’s a patriot, a veteran of World War II. [He is] a real American hero, idol and someone I look up to.”
Lasorda is a supporter of the U.S. military, who served in the Army during World War II. He regularly visits troops around the world. Brig. Gen. Coglianese invited him to attend the ball, and he gladly accepted.
“Last year, every home [game] with the Dodgers, I’ve invited [servicemembers] to have dinner with me. Because it’s something that I want to do,” said Lasorda. “To make you know that we’re proud of you. While you have that uniform on, you represent the greatest county in the world. I believe in each and every one of you who wear the uniform of the greatest country in the world.”
Tommy Lasorda began his in 1945 and is best known for his time managing the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1976 to 1996. During that time, the team won 1,599 games, four National League pennants and two World Series. He was elected into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1997, according to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum website.
“He uses his fame, not to take care of himself, but for the good of the military and other organizations,” said Brig. Gen. Coglianese, who presented Lasorda with a gift on behalf of 1st MLG.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to see a lot of these [celebrations] with the Navy and Air Force, but without a doubt, this is the best night I’ve ever seen,” said Lasorda.