2. Tommy Lasorda Makes the Baseball Hall of Fame, 1997
Just one year after his retirement in 1996, Lasorda ascended to a well-earned place among the game’s elite in Cooperstown in 1997.
No need for a five-year waiting period. The Hall decided they needed Lasorda in the fraternity right away.
That Class of ’97 included fellow recently deceased icon Phil Niekro, as well as White Sox star Nellie Fox and Negro League standout Willie Wells. Lasorda woke the weekend up with his speech, which encapsulates exactly why he’s been so beloved for so long.
And yes, he was nervous, which we can’t imagine happened very often in the 52 years between his departure for the minor leagues and this high honor.
Job well done, Tommy.