In this new series, we will be celebrating the life and times of Tommy Lasorda. The man we consider as the most passionate Dodger ever. This series of articles are a tribute to our site namesake, and a celebration of all things Tommy Lasorda, as we declare this week, Tommy Lasorda Appreciation week. From the immortal question, to his rivalry with the nose, these are our top ten Tommy moments of all time. We honor the man the myth the legend, Tommy Lasorda.
The number ten Tommy Lasorda moment of all time, takes us back to July of 1986, during the all-star game at the Astrodome. It was well known, that Tommy didn’t like practical jokers. After all he had the prince of prank Jay Johnstone on his roster before, and poor Tommy was the butt of many of his jokes. This time Tommy fights back after catching professional imposter Barry Bremen (the Great Imposter) trying to crash the 1986 MLB all-star game.
Bremen was infamous for this stuff. He once infiltrated an NBA playoff game, dressed in a Houston Rocket uniform, he took warm up shots with the team before being caught and thrown out. And that is what he did. He infiltrated major sporting events, often disguised in uniform. Once he infiltrated an NFL game dressed up as an NFL official. Another NFL game he put on a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader outfit. (ok that one kind of pissed everyone off). Another time he somehow snuck into the 1985 Emmy awards, and accepted a n Emmy award for best supporting actress, that was supposed to be handed to Betty Thomas of Hill Street Blues. In the video you can still see a confused Peter Graves, standing behind Bremen, as he even got to the podium and made a speech to the even more confused Pasadena crowd.
Each time Barry is arrested, and then released with a small fine. For the Emmy stunt, he had to pay a 175 dollar fine. Of course, Barry doesn’t mean any harm by any of these stunts, they’re just harmless fun. Except once Bremen tried to crash the 1986 MLB all-star game, he met his match in Tommy Lasorda.
Please be warned, this video contains some profanity, so if that’s something that bothers you, please don’t play this video. Bremen walks right into the Astrodome that day, walking right next to Ozzie Smith. He gets changed into a Mets uniform with no name, and the number 13, and with Glove in hand, walks out onto the field during National League batting practice. While the Senior circuit is taking batting practice, Bremen goes into the outfield to shag some balls. It doesn’t take long for him to get spotted. As he talks to Mike Scott, and Dave Smith, he is warned that his cover is blown. He was spotted, but not by the Police, or security, but by our own Tommy Lasorda. As Tommy forces Bremen off the field, we can see the players standing in the background laughing. It was indeed quite hilarious. We can even see a bewildered Fernando Valenzuela standing behind Tommy. Before he left the field, Bremen told security that he just wanted to take batting practice and get one hit. That was all, he said, just one hit.
Tommy runs out with bat in hand, to escort Bremen off the field. Many expletives are used to describe Tommy’s dislike of the situation. We all know, Tommy doesn’t like trouble makers.
“Eighty percent of the people who hear them (your troubles) don’t care and the other twenty percent are glad you’re having them”
Barry Bremen was arrested and held in the local jail for about seven hours, before Bob Allen, the director of eyewitness sports, bailed him out of jail. Bremen said that he was treated so poorly in jail that the all-star game stunt would be his last. Indeed it was. Sadly, Bremen passed away from cancer on his 64th birthday in 2011.
Lesson learned, if you are going to crash any kind of major sporting event, make sure it’s not one where Tommy Lasorda is present.