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Young El Pasoan recalls meeting the late Tommy Lasorda

EL PASO, Texas - Even though Ziggy Monnarez wasn't born when Tommy Lasorda was manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, he still became a fan.

Monnarez, 14 is all about the Blue and his knowledge of Dodgers past and present is impressive.

In 2017, Monnarez got the experience of a lifetime.

When he was 11-years-old the Make a Wish Foundation made Monnarez a co-manager for his beloved Dodgers.

"It was an amazing experience," Monnarez said. "It definitely changed my life."

Monnarez suffers from spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that bounds him to a wheelchair.

ESPN did a profile on Monnarez's story and his experience with the Dodgers.

During his visit, Monnarez got to meet the legend himself in person.

He admits he was nervous to meet Lasorda because of everything he has seen of the colorful Dodgers manager.

"I've heard all these stories about him and what he would do," Monnarez said. "I was quite nervous because I had heard that he didn't like kids that were ill mannered, but he wished me luck, and he signed a baseball."

Monnarez gave the signed Lasorda baseball to his dad who he credits for making him a Dodgers fan.

"I gave that ball to my dad as a gift because he always loved Tommy Lasorda and it was awesome to meet him," Monnarez said.

Lasorda died January 7, 2021 after suffering a heart attack at the age of 93.

Monnarez said news of Lasorda's death was hard to hear, but he cherishes the memory he has of meeting the baseball hall of famer.

"It just makes me sad that he's gone," Monnarez said. "I hold that meeting near and dear to my heart."

Texas Sports / Video

Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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