LaSorda to speak at LSU Baseball banquet

Baseball Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda will be the featured speaker for LSU's First Pitch Banquet on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The event, which begins with a 6 p.m. social hour, will signal the start of the 2008 baseball season and will honor LSU's 1991 and 1993 national championship teams.

Tickets are $50 each or $500 for a table of eight, and they may be purchased by contacting the LSU Baseball office at 225.578.4148.

"It's such an honor to have Tommy Lasorda as the keynote speaker for our banquet," said LSU coach Paul Mainieri. "I've known him for more than 25 years, and he has made a tremendous impact upon my career. He brings so much enthusiasm and passion to everything he does, and I'm so pleased to welcome him to our campus."

Lasorda managed the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1976-96, leading the club to four National League pennants and World Series titles in 1981 and 1988. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 in his first year of eligibility. The Dodgers retired his uniform number (2) on August 15, 1997.

Lasorda later managed the 2000 United States Olympic team -- featuring former LSU pitcher Kurt Ainsworth – to the gold medal in Sydney, Australia, defeating heavily-favored Cuba.

He now works for the Dodgers as Special Advisor to the Chairman, serving as an advisor on all areas of the organization for Owner & Chairman Frank McCourt and Vice Chairman and President Jamie McCourt. Lasorda's current responsibilities include scouting, evaluating and teaching Minor League players, acting as an advisor and ambassador for the Dodgers' international affiliations, and representing the franchise each year at more than 100 speaking engagements and appearances to various charities, private groups and military personnel.

"There is no better ambassador for the game of baseball than Tommy Lasorda," Mainieri said. "I know he will generate a lot of excitement for the start of our season. We sincerely appreciate his commitment to this event and to our program."

The 2008 Tigers open the season on Friday, Feb. 22 when they play host to Indiana at 7 p.m. in Alex Box Stadium.

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