Lasordas Offer Assist to Casa Loma Gym


Hoping to establish a memorial to their son, former Los Angeles Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda and his wife, Jo, have offered to contribute $500,000 to a gymnasium.

The City Council today is expected to decide whether to accept the offer and its condition that the Casa Loma gymnasium be renamed the Tommy Lasorda Jr. Field House. The agreement also would give the Lasorda Foundation access to the gym three days a year to conduct youth activities.

City officials said the Lasordas, who live in Fullerton, chose to give the money raised through the Tommy Lasorda Jr. Memorial Foundation because of their long relationship with the Yorba Linda Friends Church, whose pastor is a former Dodger.


“I think it’s appropriate that we join them in this effort, because they have had intimate contact with Yorba Linda through the Friends Church for years,” Councilman John M. Gullixson said. But there is likely to be some debate over the donation.

Councilman Gene Wisner said he probably will oppose it because he doesn’t believe the Lasordas have any connection to the community. “If he or Lasorda had been a resident, I would not have any hesitation,” Wisner said.

Since Tommy “Spunky” Lasorda Jr. died in 1991 at the age of 33, the Lasorda’s have wanted to build a recreational center in his memory.

Originally, the family wanted to build a gym on the grounds of the Yorba Linda Friends Church, but the church changed its mind and the foundation contacted the city.

The $500,000 would be used to pay off the debt on the year-old gym and to help pay for its maintenance.

The deal requires the city to install a plaque in the lobby with the young Lasorda’s likeness.