Multi-American

How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

'My father arrived...from Abruzzo, Italy': Tommy Lasorda on his immigrant dad

Since last year, the "Arrival Stories" series on KCET Departures has featured the stories of Angelenos who are immigrants and children of immigrants, telling in their own words how they or their parents arrived in the United States. Today the series by Jeremy Rosenberg reaches a milestone with its 50th installment. And fittingly, the immigration story featured is that of former Dodgers manager, National Baseball Hall of Famer and L.A. institution Tommy Lasorda.

Lasorda himself was born in Pennsylvania, but he spoke to KCET about his immigrant father, who came to the U.S. to join his brothers here, and in hopes of finding work:

"My father arrived in the United States from Abruzzo, Italy and came through Ellis Island. He came here because his brothers were here and he couldn't get any work over there.

"He started working here on the railroad and getting different jobs. And then he began to work for Bethlehem Steel, which had a quarry over in Norristown, Pennsylvania. That's what he did for years.

"That's why they honored me at Ellis Island. They had the name of the ship that my father came on and the date he arrived here and the reason he gave why he came here.

"My four brothers came from Pennsylvania up to Ellis Island and we had a great time. Getting that award, that honor, was just great, because it was about my father.

Read more at: www.kcet.org

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