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05/16/2006 2:02 PM ET
Tommy Lasorda to receive Branch Rickey Award
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LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that Special Advisor to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda will receive the Branch Rickey Award. The award is given by the Rotary Club of Denver, and will be presented to Lasorda on Nov. 11, 2006.

"I am very honored to receive this prestigious award," said Lasorda. "I am very fortunate that the Rotary Club of Denver selected me, and I am certainly proud because having played during the Branch Rickey regime, I had nothing but respect and admiration for the man. His career was unparalleled and his knowledge of the game was second to none."

Created by the Rotary Club of Denver, the Branch Rickey Award is a nationally prestigious and coveted honor that recognizes professionals in Major League Baseball for exceptional community service. Each of the 30 Major League clubs nominates one person from their team for consideration. A National Selection Committee, comprised of members of the sports media, past Branch Rickey Award winners and Rotary District Governors in Major League cities vote on the nominees.

Previous recipients of the Branch Rickey award include Dave Winfield (1992), Kirby Puckett (1993), Ozzie Smith (1994), Tony Gwynn (1995), Brett Butler (1996), Craig Biggio (1997), Paul Molitor (1998), Al Leiter (1999), Todd Stottlemyre (2000), Curt Schilling (2001), Bobby Valentine (2002), Roland Hemond (2003), Jamie Moyer (2004) and Luis Gonzalez (2005).

Lasorda, who gives more than 100 motivational speeches each year mainly to civil service agents such as the Armed Forces and police and fire departments across the country, also gives many speeches to schools, religious organizations and non-profit organizations. He has also been a spokesperson for the American Heart Association and serves on the Board of Directors for the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.

Regarded by many as baseball's most popular ambassador, Lasorda is currently in his 57th season in the Dodger organization and second as Special Advisor to the Chairman. He was named Vice President in 1996 after retiring as manager, a position he held for the previous 20 seasons. In 1997, Lasorda was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in his first year of eligibility. He was the 14th manager and 52nd Dodger inducted into the Hall of Fame. Lasorda's uniform number (2) was retired by the Dodgers on Aug. 15, 1997.

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