LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
THE ROD DEDEAUX FOUNDATION CREATED THE ANNUAL AWARD TO HONOR INDIVIDUALS FOR BOTH THEIR OUTSTANDING ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN BASEBALL AND IN SERVICE TO THE COMMUNITY.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2018 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENT
Don Buford – Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles (Hall of Fame), USC (Hall of Fame)
PREVIOUS AWARD RECIPIENTS
Augie Garrido – 2017
Augie Garrido is a former head coach in NCAAA Division I college baseball and an assistant director at the University of Texas, where he has taken his programs to 15 College World Series. He is a former head coach of the Texas Longhorns and has lead his team to five national titles. Augie is one of only two coaches to lead teams from more than one school to national titles, and he is among the winningest college coaches is history.
Ron Fairly – 2016
Before Ron Fairly began his Major League career, he was a promising young center elder for USC under Coach Rod Dedeaux. Fairly had a monster sophomore season in 1958, batting .348 with 9 Home Runs and 67 RBI’s, and leading USC to win it’s second College World Series Championship.
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed him after the 1958 season and he went on to have an amazing 21 year major league career with three World Series titles and two All- Star appearances. One of his more memorable performances was the 1965 World Series victory against The Minnesota Twins in which he hit .379 with 2 Home Runs and 6 RBI’s. After his retirement from MLB, Ron continued his involvement in the Major Leagues as a broadcaster, where he would spend the next 27 years broadcasting for The Angels, The Giants, and The Mariners.
Steve Garvey – 2015
Steve Garvey is a living legend in MLB history, and for good reason. During his 19-year career, he was awarded the Golden Glove four times, was a two- time NLCS MVP, a two-time All Star Game MVP, and set a National League Record with an astonishing 1207 consecutive games played. As a testament to his contributions on the field, in April 16, 1988, the familiar #6, worn throughout his career with both the Dodgers and Padres, was retired by the San Diego Padres on April 16,1988.
Steve’s Hall of Fame career has extended way beyond the baseball field and we are proud to recognize him for his many achievements. Major League Baseball took notice to his sportsmanship, community involvement and philanthropic work and honored him with both the Robert Clemente Award in 1981, and The Lou Gherig’s Award in 1984. Steve currently fights to raise awareness for Prostate Cancer as Chairman of Fans For The Cure, is on the Board of Directors for B.A.T., which helps members of the Major League Baseball family who are in need of assistance, is an Honorary Trustee of the Multiple Sclerosis Society, received the 2015 “Spirit of Light Award” from the Blind Children’s Center, and assists in a variety of other causes including: the Special Olympics, Juvenile Diabetes, The Sisters of Carondelet, United Way, Ronald McDonald House, St. Vincent DePaul Center, Pediatric AIDS, the Starlight Foundation, and ALS. Garvey also finds the time to hold positions on numerous civic committees and corporate boards.
Tom Seaver – 2014
Tom Seaver is considered to be one of the best starting pitchers in the history of baseball and in 1992 was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the largest percentage ever recorded. During his amazing 20-year career, Tom Terrific played for 4 different teams though is primarily recognized for his dominant period with the Mets. Also known as “The Franchise”, he compiled 311 wins. Seaver won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1967, claimed three NL Cy Young Awards as the league’s best pitcher and had five (5) 20-win seasons. After retirement, Tom has had a successful broadcasting career for many years. Tom is married to Nancy with two daughters Sarah and Annie and resides in Calistoga, California where he presides over his award-winning vineyard, Seaver Family Vineyard.
Jackie Robinson – 2013
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was an American baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era. He broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947. The example of Robinson's character and unquestionable talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation, which then marked many other aspects of American life, and contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement. Over ten seasons, Robinson played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers' 1955 World Championship. He was selected for six consecutive All-Star Games, was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949—the first black player so honored and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. In recognition of his achievements on and off the field, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
In 1997, Major League Baseball "universally" retired his uniform number, 42, across all major league teams; he was the first pro athlete in any sport to be so honored. Initiated for the first time on April 15, 2004, Major League Baseball has adopted a new annual tradition, "Jackie Robinson Day", on which every player on every team wears #42.
Rick Monday – 2012
Monday began his baseball career starring at Santa Monica High School earning league honors. Tommy Lasorda, then a scout for the Los Angeles Dodgers, offered Rick $20,000 to sign with the Dodgers out of high school in 1963. But Arizona State University coach Bobby Winkles, who was also from Monday’s native Arkansas, convinced them that he would look after Monday.
A star for the Sun Devils under head coach Winkles, on a team that included freshman Reggie Jackson, Monday led the Sun Devils to the 1965 College World Series championship (over Ohio State) and earned All-America and College Player of the Year honors. For the 1965 season he hit .359 with 34 extra-base hits.
Monday started his major league career with the Athletics. He then spent several years with the Cubs, and was traded to the Dodgers just in time to join a team that won the National League pennant in 1977 and 1978.
The two most famous moments of Monday’s career were both associated with the Dodgers. In the first, on April 25, 1976, during a game at Dodger Stadium, two protesters ran into the outfield and tried to set fire to an American flag. Monday noticed they had placed the flag on the ground and were fumbling with matches and lighter fluid; he then dashed over and grabbed the flag from the ground to thunderous cheers and a standing ovation. When he came up to bat in the next half- inning, he got a standing ovation from the crowd and the big message board behind the left-field bleachers in the stadium flashed the message, “RICK MONDAY... YOU MADE A GREAT PLAY...” He later said, “If you’re going to burn the flag, don’t do it around me. I’ve been to too many veterans’ hospitals and seen too many broken bodies of guys who tried to protect it.”
Monday is still in possession of the flag he rescued from the protestors; he has had offers to sell it (for up to $1 million) but has declined all offers.
Sparky Anderson – 2011
The 2011 honoree Sparky Anderson exemplifies the spirit of the award and the value of mentorship per the below-published story by Sparky Anderson:
In 1942, I was 9 years old and my family had just moved from South Dakota to California. We moved into a house that was tucked just beyond the right-field fence of the University of Southern California baseball field. One day I came from school and found a baseball in the bushes that had covered the fence of the baseball field. I picked it up and walked over to the field and asked one of the players, “Who is the boss around here?” They pointed to the team’s manager, and that was when I met Rod Dedeaux for the first time. I asked him, “Are you the boss?” He smiled and nodded yes.
I returned the baseball to him and he said, “You are an honest young man. Would you like to be my batboy?”
I did not know anything about baseball at this time in my life, and I definitely did not know the what a batboy was, but I still said yes.
Dedeaux told me I could do it under two conditions. The rules were: I needed to get my parent’s permission, and I had to show my report every time I had one.
He took me as if I were his son, and he did so much for me during that time. He helped me develop a love of baseball and love of life. I watched him intently and how he appreciated all the gifts God gave him. He showed me the importance of being fortunate and never thinking you are better than anyone.
Dedeaux used to tell me, “When you are fortunate, it is a tremendous gift. It is impossible to be better than someone else,but you can be more fortunate.”
He taught me how to cradle this attitude in everything you do and I did every day of my life. To this day, meeting him was the greatest thing that ever happened to me in my life. It was even greater than winning the World Series as the manager of the Cincinnati Red and Detroit Tigers.
You see, I believe so strongly that there are only a handful of people you will encounter in life that completely change your destiny. You have to be open to following the baseballs in your life and letting these people come into your life every day because you might miss them.
And how fortunate am I that I met my destiny-changer when I was only 9 years old?
Tommy Lasorda – 2010
The inaugural 2010 honoree, Tommy Lasorda, is well- known as one of baseball’s most popular ambassadors and fittingly, one of Rod’s dearest friends. Legendary for his accomplishments including coaching the Dodgers to two World Championships and a Gold Medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and honored by his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Not as well known are Tommy’s tireless efforts reaching out in the community speaking at countless charitable functions each year as well as visiting with military personnel around the world.
Proceeds from the inaugural event benefited the baseball and softball for Kids in Sports LA (KIS). The mission of Kids in Sports is to create community based sports programs for youth in underserved areas of Los Angeles County. KIS currently operates 13 area clubs and serves more than 8,000 youth annually.
In an ongoing testament to a match made in baseball heaven, Tommy Lasorda and the Dodgers began their 61st season together this spring. Though he had his highlights as a minor league pitcher, he never made his mark with the Brooklyn Dodgers in a brief major league career and was sent down to make room for another young lefty, Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax. In 1961, after his playing days were over, Tommy stayed on with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a scout.
In 1966, he received his first coaching assignment as manager in the Dodgers minor league system and soon turned a championship season into three consecutive titles and later parlayed that success into a winning legacy and a championship for the Triple A Albuquerque Dukes. In 1973, he made his major league coaching debut at Dodger Stadium as the third base coach and understudy to Hall of Fame manager Walt Alston.
Tommy became the Dodger skipper on September 29th 1976, and over the next 20 years he steadfastly continued to build onto his championship legacy. As Dodger manager, he won two World Championships, four National League pennants and eight division titles. He was named Manager of the Year by UPI and AP in 1977, Manager of the Year by AP in 1981 and N.L. Manager of the Year by Baseball America and Co-Manager of the Year by The Sporting News in 1988. He was honored with induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 in his first year of eligibility and his museum plaque reads in part, “One of baseball’s most engaging personalities and a great ambassador for his sport. Managed Dodger’s with an impenetrable passion, claiming to bleed Dodger Blue.” On top of all of these Dodger accomplishments, he considers his greatest professional achievement to be managing the United States Olympic Baseball Team to an upset Gold Medal win over the legendary Cuban National Team in the 2000 Sydney Games.
After he retired as manager, Tommy brought his Dodger passion to the front office where he served as Vice President, Interim General Manager, Senior VP and is currently in his sixth year as Special Advisor to the Chairman. His current responsibilities include scouting, evaluating and teaching minor league players and acting as an ambassador for the Dodgers’ worldwide.
Tommy has won numerous other awards, including the BBWAA Philadelphia Chapter’s Humanitarian Award in 1993, Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce’s Award of Merit in 1997, and in September 2006, Lasorda received the Branch Rickey Award from the Denver Rotary Club for his lifetime of community service. He has been a spokesperson for the American Heart Association and regularly visits patients at the Tommy Lasorda Heart Institute at Centinela Hospital Medical Center. He also sits on the board for the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island Foundation, and the U.S. Army Recruiting Advisory Council. Last summer, Lasorda had his portrait installed in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.