Few people in the game of baseball have been more beloved by players and fans alike, than Tommy Lasorda.

A native of Norristown, Pennsylvania, Lasorda signed with the in-state Philadelphia Phillies in 1945, one year after graduating high school. He would ultimately leave baseball a short time later, and spend the 1946 and 1947 seasons in active duty for the United States Army.

When he returned to baseball in 1948, he was assigned to the Schenectady Blue Jays, of the Class C Canadian-American League. Tommy Lasorda was on his way to the Capital Region.

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Tommy Lasorda Plays in Schenectady, NY; Strikes Out 25 in ONE Game!

Lasorda spent one season in the Capital Region playing for the Blue Jays, and it was during this season that the left-handed pitcher would make history.

On May 31, 1948, Lasorda toed the rubber against the Amsterdam Rugmakers, an affiliate of the New York Yankees. The game was the second of a doubleheader, both of which were played at McNearney Stadium in Schenectady, New York.

The game went 15 thrilling innings, in front of more than 4,000 Capital Region fans, and Lasorda would finish with an astounding 25 strikeouts on the mound, which was listed as a "professional record" at the time. Not only that, but he scored the tying run in the 5th inning of the game to eventually send it to extra innings, and drove in the winning run in the bottom of the 15th, giving the Blue Jays a 6-5 win to close out the day.

All of this information was recorded and printed in The Daily Gazette the following day, and you can see a digital version of the story here.


What Happened After Lasorda Played in Schenectady

Lasorda would finish the 1948 campaign with a 9-12 record and a 4.64 ERA. He would be moved to Class-A Greenville the following season, and would finish with an ERA of 2.93 in 45 games. From 1950 to 1954, Lasorda would play ball for a Triple-A team in Montreal, one step below the Major Leagues.

It was in 1954 when Lasorda would get his first call-up to the big leagues, and on August 5th, during the 5th inning of a game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Lasorda would come in to pitch for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Lasorda holding a World Series trophy / Getty Images
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Lasorda would pitch in 26 games over a three-year span in Major League Baseball, and play his final year of pro ball in 1960, at the age of 32. It was in 1965 that he would begin his managerial career, one that would eventually span until 1996, win him two World Series titles, and get Lasorda elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.

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