Part of the 5th highway named after Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda


A stretch of the 5th freeway, where Tommy Lasorda began his trips to Dodger Stadium and left after games, is now named after him.

Twenty-seven miles southeast of what Lasorda called “Blue Heaven on Earth” is the “Tommy Lasorda Dodger Legend Memorial Highway.”

A pair of green traffic signs have been installed on the 5 Freeway in Fullerton near the former Dodgers manager’s longtime home. The signs are located on the northbound and southbound lanes between Lincoln Avenue and Ball Road.

The late Lasorda will be recognized Saturday at a ceremony attended by his daughter Laura, former Dodgers first baseman Eric Karros, Lasorda’s 1992 National League MVP and Congresswoman Sharon Quirk-Silver (D-Fullerton). The event is scheduled for 10 a.m. and is part of West Fullerton Little League’s opening day festivities at James Carter Field, 1015 West Hill Ave., Fullerton.

Lasorda was a supporter and benefactor of the West Fullerton Little League and surrounding parks.

The ceremony marks the culmination of ACR 67, a bill sponsored by Quirk-Silva and co-authored by Rep. Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) in 2021, to commemorate Lasorda, who has lived in Fullerton since 1958. The law was written soon after. Lasorda died of sudden cardiac arrest in January 2021. He was 93 years old.

Although Lasorda was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Quirk-Silver said many in Fullerton consider the former Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher a “local hero.”

“We will remember Tommy as a community man,” Quirk-Silver said. “You’ve had a chance to see him around town, maybe having pizza at Giovanni’s.”

In 1976, Lasorda gave a speech at Nicholas Jr. High School in Fullerton and gave away a dozen tickets to his friend, instructor Jim Schlotthauer. The social studies and speech therapy teacher, who taught at the school between 1960 and 2004, invited a group of six students to the next game.

One such student was Quirk-Silver, who saw the sights of Dodgers idol Steve Garvey and his first Dodger dog during his first visit to the stadium.

Quirk-Silver said he was “eternally grateful” for the experience that endeared him to the manager.

The honor is one of many Fullerton has bestowed upon Lasorda and his family.

The Fullerton Museum ended a three-month exhibit on Dec. 31, titled “America’s Pastime Drawing,” with a section dedicated to Lasorda.

The city also held street festivals in 2021 and 2022 honoring Lasorda’s birthday in September.

The Dodgers provide some of the backboard funding.

“Fullerton held a very special place in Tommy’s heart, and we know how proud he is to be here today,” Dodgers President and CEO Stan Kasten said in a statement.

Lasorda led the Dodgers to World Series titles in 1981 and 1988, four National League pennants, eight division titles and 1,599 wins.

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