On June 8, 1955, the Brooklyn Dodgers optioned left-hander Tommy Lasorda to Montreal. In the move, they called up another left-hander by the name of Sandy Koufax.
I think that move paid off nicely.
Lasorda was never really able to figure it out on the mound for Brooklyn. By the time June of 1955 rolled around, his career ERA was nearly eight. The Dodgers decided to send the lefty to Triple-A on June 8, meaning they’d need to recall a player. They brought up another lefty, who had spent 30 days on the disabled list with an ankle injury.
The rest? Well, the rest is history. And I think it turned out nicely for both players. Koufax went on to become one of the greatest left-handed pitchers in MLB history and Lasorda went on to win championships as manager for the Dodgers. They were also both inducted into the Hall of Fame.
In classic Tommy fashion, here’s what he had to say years ago following the transaction. “When [general manager] Buzzie [Bavasi] told me I was going down, I told him he was crazy,” Lasorda told MLB.com back in 2005. “That guy couldn’t hit a barn door from 50 feet and I won 20 games down there. So truthfully I can say that it took the greatest left-hander in the history of the game to replace me.”