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, to his legendary run as manager, these are our top ten Tommy moments of all time. We honor the man the myth the legend, Tommy Lasorda.
Well guys, we have reached the end of the Tommy Lasorda countdown. Only one more Top Tommy moment remains, and it’s a real doozy. Without further adieu, I give you the number one Tommy Lasorda moment of all time. It is without doubt, one of the most infamous, and hilarious Tommy episodes ever. I have three words for you. THE IMMORTAL QUESTION. What was the immortal question you might ask?
The date was June 4, 1976, the Dodgers were playing the New York Mets. The Mets, at that time had an outfielder by the name of Dave Kingman. They used to call him King Kong. Dave the “King Kong” Kingman. If you ever saw Kingman play, you would understand the reason for the nickname. Kingman was 6’6 and every inch of his 230 pound frame could scare the crap out of opposing pitchers. Kingman ended up playing for a bunch of teams, seven actually during his 16 year MLB career. Kingman who began his career with the Giants, slugged 442 home runs, including 30 or more dingers seven times.
On that date, the Mets beat the Dodgers in 15 innings, by a score of 8-7. Kingman single handedly beat the Dodgers, by slugging three home runs, and driving in all eight runs himself. What happened next is what legends are made of. If you don’t know, just ask Even Bladh.
The incident is so famous, or infamous, however you want to look at it, that some people even built websites dedicated to the legendary interview. His site name is not surprisingly called opinionofkingmansperformance.blogspot.com. Just ask Evan how important this interview was to the lore of Tommy Lasorda.
So after the game, Tommy is being interviewed by the press, and well, naturally Kingman’s performance comes up. A reporter by the name of Paul Olden asked the question. Olden approached Lasorda and asked, “What was your opinion of Kingman’s performance?” Well as they say, the rest is history. No further explanation is needed. (warning this interview contains alot of profanity)
Olden: What’s your opinion of Kingman’s performance?
Lasorda: What’s my opinion of Kingman’s performance? What the Bleep do you think is my opinion of it? I think it was Bleeping horsebleep. Put that in I don’t Bleeping … Opinion of his performance? Jesus Christ he beat us with three Bleeping home runs. What the Bleep do you mean what is my opinion of his performance? How can you ask me a question like that? What is my opinion of his p – of his p-p-performance? Jesus Christ he hit three home runs. Jesus Christ. I’m Bleeping pissed off to lose the Bleeping game, and you ask me my opinion of his performance. Jesus Christ. I mean that’s a tough question to ask me, isn’t it? What is my opinion of his performance?
Olden: Yes it is. I asked it and you gave me an answer.
Lasorda: Well I didn’t give you a good answer because I’m mad but I mean…
Olden: Well it wasn’t a good question….
Lasorda: That’s a tough question to ask me right now. What is my opinion of his performance… I mean you want me to tell you what my opinion of his performance is…
Olden: You just did.
Lasorda: That’s right. Jesus Christ. Guy hits three home runs against us. Bleep. I mean I don’t want to – uh -uh I don’t want to get pissed off or anything like that but you know you ask me my opinion. I mean he put on a helluva show, I mean he hit three home runs, he drove in, what, seven runs?
Lasorda: Eight runs so I mean what the hell more can you say about him? I didn’t mean to get mad or anything like that, but god damn you ask my opinion of his, er, uh, of his performance. See ya Joe.
This was actually not the first time Kingman had hit three home runs against the Dodgers in a game. He had done it once before during a game against the Dodgers two years earlier. Now I don’t know for sure, but I would bet that nobody dared to ask Tommy what his opinion of that game was. Years later, the interview has become a cult classic on the internet, and sports talk radio shows.