Tommy Lasorda to serve as honorary Dodgers coach for his 84th birthday

 Tommy Lasorda sits in the dugout prior to the start of a Dodgers spring training game.
Tommy Lasorda sits in the dugout prior to the start of a Dodgers spring training game.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Former manager Tommy Lasorda will mark his 84th birthday tonight by returning to the dugout and serving as an honorary coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers as they play at Dodger Stadium for the final time in 2011, facing their archrivals, the San Francisco Giants.

The invitation was made by Dodger manager Don Mattingly.

"I am so deeply honored and grateful that Don would ask me to do this,'' Lasorda said. "I loved every minute of managing during my 20 seasons with the Dodgers and it is always outstanding to put on the Dodger uniform.''

Lasorda managed the Dodgers from Sept. 29, 1976, until retiring on July 29, 1996, slightly more than one month after suffering a heart attack. Lasorda managed the Dodgers to 1,599 victories, 17th on the all-time list.

This will be Lasorda's fourth time back in the dugout officially since retiring. He managed an underdog U.S. team to the gold medal in the 2000 Olympics, served as an honorary coach for the National League in the 2001 All- Star Game and managed a Dodger split squad for eight games during spring training in 2008 in Vero Beach, Fla. as part of the team went to China.

The Dodgers tonight will also honor the Little League World Series champions from the Ocean View Little League in Huntington Beach. The Little Leaguers will watch batting practice, meet the Dodgers, take infield practice on their first major league field and stand alongside the Dodgers in front of the dugout during the national anthem.

The team and its coaches will receive a commemorative Kellogg's Frosted Flakes cereal box featuring the Little League champions.