WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will install a portrait of Tommy Lasorda, Hall of Fame manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday, Sept. 22. Painted by artist Everett Raymond Kinstler, the life-sized portrait measures 60 by 50 inches and was commissioned to commemorate Lasorda’s legacy as part of the Dodger’s organization. Sept. 22 is Lasorda’s 82nd birthday and the first night of a three-game series between the Dodgers and the Washington Nationals in Washington, D.C. The portrait will be on view in the museum’s exhibition “New Arrivals” on the first floor through Nov. 15th.
“We are honored to accept this portrait of baseball legend Tommy Lasorda into our permanent collection,” said Martin Sullivan, director of the museum. “Tommy Lasorda is an individual who epitomizes the spirit, sportsmanship and integrity of America’s national pastime.” The National Portrait Gallery’s Commissioners voted Lasorda into the permanent collection, an honor given to only a limited number of Americans and other individuals who have had a significant impact on American history and culture.
After a brief Major League career as a left-handed pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Lasorda became one of the most enthusiastic and successful managers in baseball history. In his 20-year career as the Dodgers’ manager, Lasorda led the team to eight division titles and two World Championships. After his retirement, he became a Dodgers executive, and this year marks his 60th season with the Dodger organization and his fifth year as special advisor to the chairman. Lasorda was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997, and he managed the U.S. team to its first-ever baseball gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Story Originally Written 9-27-09