This Day in Baseball History: May 5th, 1955


Maybe he was asleep while pitching, too.

On May 5, 1955:

Tommy Lasorda had a rough day.

Before becoming one of the most recognizable faces of Major League Baseball, Tommy Lasorda was a decent professional pitcher, though most of that would be at the minor-league level. In 1945, he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, but he would miss the next two seasons while serving in the United States Armed Forces. The Dodgers grabbed him away from the Phillies after a series of starts in which he struck out 25, 15, and 13 hitters in each game. Lasorda, 22 in 1950, would have to wait his turn, however. Over the next six seasons, he would spend most of his time in the minor leagues, but in 1955, he would get his chance. And he made the most of it, kind of.

Facing the St. Louis Cardinals on May 5, 1955, Lasorda got his first major-league start, but he wouldn’t last long. Wally Moon led off with a walk, and four pitches later, Moon moved up to second on a wild pitch. Bill Virdon, the second hitter, would then take a walk. Four pitches later, Lasorda unleashed another wild pitch, and both hitters moved up. He would recover to strike out the legendary Stan Musial. While facing Rip Repulski, Lasorda let fly his third and major-league record third wild pitch of the first inning, and it allows Moon to score. Making matters worse on the play, Moon slid in and cleated Lasorda. Shrugging it off, he went on to strike out Repulski and induced a pop fly from Red Schoendienst. The cleating apparently hurt him quite a bit as he would not return to the game. It was an odd line for Lasorda — 1 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, and 3 WP while only throwing 13 of 27 pitches for strikes.

Lasorda would go on to pitch 21 more games at the major-league level, none particularly effective. After the season, he would be released, but the Kansas City Athletics took a flyer on him. Lasting 18 games, Lasorda was sold back to the Dodgers in 1957. He lasted three more years in the minors.

Trivia Time
Name the three managers with more post-season games managed than Lasorda.

Yesterday’s Answer –> Standing room only, of course. Sunday baseball would be a hit.

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2 Responses to “This Day in Baseball History: May 5th, 1955”

  1. Ian Says:

    Good trivia question. I’m going to guess: Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony LaRussa.

  2. Ron Rollins Says:

    Yeah, me too.

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