Tommy Lasorda to Celebrate Birthday in Dodgers Dugout

The Dodgers have something to celebrate during their final home game of a rough season

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Former Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda will be back in the dugout Thursday night for his 84th birthday.

    The Changeup: Dodgers Front-Office Upheaval

    Lasorda will be the Dodgers' honorary coach for the team's final home game of 2011. They'll play the San Francisco Giants.

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

    Mattingly invited Lasorda, who managed the team from September 1976 until his retirement in July 1996, to serve as honorary manager. Lasorda's teams won two World Series, four National League titles and eight division championships.

    "I'm honored the @Dodgers & Don would have me as Honorary Coach on my bday. It's a privilege to wear the uniform," Lasorda tweeted.

    It will be Lasorda's third time serving in an official capacity in the dugout. He managed the United States in the 2000 Olympic Games in Australia. That team won gold just five days after Lasorda's 73rd birthday.

    In 2001, Lasorda was an honorary coach in the MLB All-Star game in Seattle. The Hall of Famer managed the Dodgers during eight Spring Training game when then-manager Joe Torre was on a goodwill trip in China. 

    Also Thursday, the Dodgers will honor the Ocean View Little League team from Huntington Beach. The team won the Little League World Series. Players will take infield practice and stand next to the Dodgers during the national anthem.

    It has been a rough year for the organization because of upheaval in the front office and the team is well out of the playoff race, but two players are having remarkable seasons. Pitcher Clayton Kershaw improved his Cy Young chances this week when he became the first Dodger to win 20 games since Ramon Martinez in 1990.

    Matt Kemp became the 14th player in league history with at least 35 home runs and 35 stolen bases this season. The National League MVP candidate has 35 home runs and 40 stolen bases entering Thursday's game.

    And, remember this if your spirits need a lift, Dodgers fans -- Vin Scully is coming back.

    Tickets for the home finale are still available. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m.

    Share your memories of Tommy Lasorda's time as Dodgers manager and this season on Facebook: NBCLA